Brooklyn Tech Triangle Unveils Plans to Expand and Support Tech Ecosystem

Brooklyn Tech Triangle plan

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

In April 2012, the DUMBO Improvement District and Brooklyn Tech Triangle partners commissioned an economic impact study of the “Brooklyn Tech Triangle”. Today, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, a partnership of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Dumbo Business Improvement District and the Brooklyn Navy Yard unveiled a master strategic plan that detailed proposals on workforce development, real estate incentives and zoning, transportation linkages, and public space creation with the goal of nurturing innovation for NYC.

New York City is a leading tech innovation hub (after Silicon Valley), and the Brooklyn Tech Triangle is taking charge to include a broad public, private, and academic backing to provide an environment, infrastructure, transportation, and workforce development to ensure that the area can accommodate the needs of the new economy. There are five key challenges to which the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan counters with five plan components. The five key challenges are:

  1. Space: We are running out of appropriate commercial space for tech.
  2. Workforce: The Tech Triangle could be—but isn’t yet—a new model integrating talent from local communities and universities with high-growth industries.
  3. Transportation: It needs to be easier to get around the Tech Triangle.
  4. Dynamic Places: Some parts of the Tech Triangle need an upgraded energy and vibe.
  5. Tech Infrastructure: The “tech” in Tech Triangle should be apparent to all.

The 94 page plan include challenges and proposals that address them. We’re only touching on a small slice, so you may want to read the full strategic plan. More renderings after the jump…

In terms of space, there are a number of key sites, including existing warehouse or storage buildings, government-owned sites, and sites of parking lots, which could provide new commercial space (inititative 1F). By creating a Special Innovation District with tools to incentivize conversion of existing spaces and new development, these sites present significant opportunity to open up new desirable office space and grow the cluster. Potential properties for re-use of space include the Watchtower Properties on Prospect Street in Dumbo, the City Tech/Concord Village site is currently a parking lot directly adjacent to the C train High Street entrance/exit as well as other sites in Dumbo, including 53 Bridge Street, 29 Jay Street, and 195 Water Street. Brooklyn Landing, triangular lot at the corner of Prospect Street and Washington Street is currently owned by the Department of Parks and Recreation and is used by the NYC DOT is also mentioned as a proposed space for a public plaza with a balloon landing location in the center.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Transportation proposals include bus, ferry, bike lanes, subway exits, and street modifications.

Bus (Initiative 3A): A B67 bus extension would connect Kensington/Park Slope/Downtown Brooklyn/York Street station terminus to Wythe Avenue, linking to the J/M/Z trains. This proposal requires the two-way conversion of York Street between Bridge and Jay Streets. The Plan also proposes extending the B24 routes from southern terminus at Williamsburg Bridge Plaza to enter the Navy Yard at Clymer Gate and then follow the same routing as the B67 through the Navy Yard to York Street station. The extension of the B24 route would create a new single route connection from Greenpoint and Williamsburg, linking L train stops to the Navy Yard and to Dumbo. The B67 extension in combination with the B24 extension would mean eight buses per hour between York Street and the Navy Yard.

Jay Street: Jay Street needs to be an active, walkable corridor all the way from Downtown to the East River (Dumbo). The Plan proposes a new ferry landing at the end of Jay Street that would connect to the larger ferry network on the East River, from the Upper East Side to South Brooklyn (Initiative 3C). Connect two-way bike lanes on Jay Street between York and Sands Streets to link up with the Jay Street bike corridor as an exit from Dumbo to Downtown Brooklyn (Initiative 3D). To allow a safe pedestrian flow along Jay Street from Downtown Brooklyn to DUMBO, the Plan suggests strengthening the pedestrian path along the west side of Jay Street, including the crossing of Sands Street. At this point, a discrete pedestrian path should cross diagonally underneath the Manhattan Bridge, reconnecting to Jay Street within DUMBO and leading down to York Street. Signage, lighting, and paving materials should reinforce this path (Initiative 3E). The Tech Triangle Strategic Plan proposes a southern entrance for the York Street station F train onto the western side of Jay Street near the new City Tech building at 300 Jay Street (Initiative 3G).

A/C High Street station- connect High Street to Adams Street through a new pedestrian easement, expand the entrances at either end, and renovate the tunnel passage (Initiative 3I). A 21st-century trolley service that connects Barclays Center with Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO and all the way to Brooklyn Bridge Park could be implemented within a very short timeframe and as part of a larger marketing strategy (Initiative 3L).

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Dynamic Places:
Redesign and reprogram Cadman Plaza and the Civic Center as an open space for people to enjoy. Columbus Park and Cadman Plaza can have the buzz of Madison Square Park, the elegance of Parisian promenade, or even the dynamism of the Ramblas in Barcelona (Initiative 4E). One way to make Cadman Plaza more dynamic would be to add activity areas. The Cadman Café would create a fantastic outdoor gathering point and serve as a key element of the Brooklyn Strand (Initiative 4G). Proposed in the largest segment of Brooklyn Landing / Clumber Corner is a tethered helium observation balloon called Brooklyn Rising (Initiative 4H). The balloon will symbolize the revitalization and growth of Brooklyn. The observation balloon would be an iconic element rising 600 feet in the air, and visible for great distances. It will afford balloon riders unprecedented views of the borough and surrounding city and harbor. The balloon would hold up to 30 passengers at a time and be a great tourist attraction and neighborhood amenity.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Dumbo Dog park: Located on a sliver of open space wedged between York Street and a tall retaining wall supporting the BQE, this dog run would create productive exercise space by using slopes and ramps to create the first vertical dog run in the City (Initiative 4J).

Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan

Anchorage Plaza: After the September 11th attacks, the anchorage to the Brooklyn Bridge was closed to the public. The Tech Triangle Plan proposes reopening the anchorage, which could house a museum recounting the history of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn waterfront, and event space that generates revenue to underwrite the museum’s operation (Initiative 4K).

{Study: Economic Impact of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle , 23Apr2012}
{Building Brooklyn as NYC’s Technology Hub, 21Dec2011}
{Mayor Bloomberg Announce Dumbo Business Incubator to Support Entrepreneurs, 09Jun2011}
{Senator Charles Schumer Kicks Off Internet Week NY with a nod to Dumbo, 06Jun2011}
{Dumbo Brooklyn First to Offer Free Wireless Access, 02Jun2011}
{WSJ Introduces Dumbo to Madison Ave, 20May2010}

Around the web:
{Downtown Brooklyn to get clean tech incubator that will house up to 20 startups, 18Jun2013, NYDN}
{A peek at $3 billion Brooklyn of the future, 18Jun2013, NYP}
{Huge expansion of tech space eyed in Brooklyn, 17Jun2013, Crain’s}
{Tech Triangle to Remake Downtown, Navy Yard, 18Jun2013, Brownstoner}
{Downtown Brooklyn would benefit most from ‘Tech Triangle’ subsidy plan, 18Jun2013, NYDN}
{Hot Air Balloon, New Parks Come With Brooklyn’s Tech Boom, 18Jun2013, Curbed}
{Brooklyn’s New “Tech Triangle” REVEALED, 18Jun2013, Gothamist}

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