The Real Deal New York

Turn Downtown Brooklyn into a college town: Opinion

Institutions currently own millions of square feet of unbuilt development rights in the area

April 18, 2015 04:00PM

Tucker Reed and Downtown Brooklyn

Tucker Reed and Downtown Brooklyn

Downtown Brooklyn doesn’t exactly evoke images of grassy quads, but its booming real estate market makes it ripe for a transformation into a college town, according to Tucker Reed, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

Higher education institutions currently own millions of square feet of unbuilt development rights in Downtown Brooklyn. Reed argues in Crain’s that institutions should “leverage private investment to transform their underutilized real estate into first-rate facilities that support their academic and housing needs. It’s a winning strategy in several ways.”

Reed claims by developing more student housing, institutions will create a sense of community among students, which in the long run increases the odds that those students will give back. It’s a strategy that worked for NYU – once considered a commuter school.

“In other words, build a new kind of college town, one that strategically capitalizes on Brooklyn’s success to create something unique—and a model for lifting central business districts and academic institutions together that could be replicated across the country. That’s a goal worth pursuing,” Reed writes. [Crain’s]Christopher Cameron