Schumer calls for more tech-friendly Brooklyn office towers

Also on the agenda: North Brooklyn-to-Downtown “nerd bus”

Charles Schumer and Downtown Brooklyn
Charles Schumer and Downtown Brooklyn

In a panel discussion at Brooklyn Tech Triangle U Wednesday, New York Senator Charles Schumer called for a “nerd bus” and nerd ferry” to transport an influx of Brooklyn tech workers, as well as new office towers to house their business endeavors.

Modern office space in Downtown Brooklyn and Dumbo, growing tech hotspots where vacancy rates are currently in the single digits, must be expanded to accommodate industry growth, Schumer said before tech heavyweights MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson and Reddit co-founder Alex O’Hanlon, Crain’s reported. The Silicon Alley ally also called for revamped zoning that would incentivize developers to create more modern office space.

“We have to grow,” Schumer said to the assembled crowd. “Businesses are running out of space, businesses that only want to grow in Brooklyn. You couldn’t get Etsy or Huge to move to Manhattan, Brooklyn is in their DNA.”

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Schumer also called for a new MTA bus line connecting Williamsburg and Greenpoint with tech hubs in Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard as part of the plan. He also called on the Department of Transportation to evaluate whether a ferry service along the Brooklyn waterfront would be a feasible connection between the borough and a new Cornell tech campus slated for Roosevelt Island. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland