Brooklyn Tech Triangle will create and repurpose space to lure more firms

Plan includes new zoning framework that would allow developers to convert industrial buildings for residential use
June 17, 2013 08:30AM

A coalition of Brooklyn businesses and landlords will reveal a plan Tuesday to accommodate the rapidly rising demand for technology space in the borough, Crain’s reported.

The Brooklyn Tech Triangle – an alliance between the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Dumbo Business Improvement District and the Brooklyn Navy Yard – will create or repurpose space to allow more tech firms to set up shop.

“This whole effort is born from the concept that this special thing is happening in Brooklyn, and it’s all been organic growth,” Tucker Reid, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, told Crain’s. “Now we need to figure out how we can foster that growth with public support, so it continues to blossom and spread.”

One of the plan’s biggest components is transforming four blocks of dilapidated warehouses along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which would allow for over a million square feet of space, or about 60 percent of the total space available in Dumbo.

To this end, the partnership is looking to create the Brooklyn Special Innovation District, a new zoning framework that would allow developers to convert the industrial buildings for residential use, with the caveat that some of the space is reserved for commercial use.

“These aren’t the manufacturers of yore,” Tom Montvel-Cohen, chairman of the Dumbo BID, told Crain’s. “There’s no smokestacks, so it’s not like there’s a problem with having apartments and tech space in the same building. It could even be good, because these firms, they have events and meet-ups, they’re almost an amenity for the residents.” [Crain’s] – Hiten Samtani