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29 Nov 2017
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New Development in Brooklyn

Broadway Junction, home to several subway lines, will be the center of the next wave of economic and housing development in Brooklyn. What makes Broadway Junction so appealing to city officials and developers? It is in “a prime location at the cross roads of six neighborhoods and serves as the unofficial welcome center in a fast-growing part of New York City.”[1] The combination of access to public transportation, low property costs and its proximity to Manhattan have attracted developers and investors. In addition, Brooklyn has the largest population in New York City with roughly 2.6 million residents, which provides “a strong local community that could serve as both workforce and customer base”.[2] However, up until now the areas surrounding Broadway Junction have been overlooked due to the “long [struggle] with unemployment, poverty and crime.”[3]

City officials (such as Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, and City Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr.) and NYC’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) have collaborated to incentivize development in the neighborhoods surrounding Broadway Junction. NYCED, determined to expand economic growth in East New York, are accepting proposals for the 300,000 square foot commercial office space, anchored by the Human Resources Administration. Through the Office Anchor Strategy, City agencies will be the tenants in these new developments to attract other businesses, while also spurring job growth. The President and CEO of NYCEDC, James Patchett, explains that “[b]ringing modern office space to East New York will help drive its continued growth as a job hub and bring hundreds of new private sector jobs to the neighborhood”. [4] These future developments will potentially create 100,000 “good jobs” in the next ten years.[5]

The idea is to shift Broadway Junction from a transit hub to a business hub for both Brooklyn and New York City. As property prices increase in Manhattan, developers are hoping that the evolving neighborhoods attract residents and businesses, especially once the L train shuts down in 2019. City officials, cautious about gentrification, have rezoned 200 blocks for affordable housing. The City has also invested $267 million for parks, surrounding infrastructure, public schools, and $16 million to attract businesses and incentivize job growth. East New York’s greatest asset, which Manhattan lacks, is unused land. The collaboration of city officials, the NYCEDC, and developers is a promising sign that new development will spur economic growth and investment in the neighborhood. A local explains to the New York Times, “This neighborhood is ready for change. People are expecting it.”[6]

[1] Hu, Winnie. (Nov. 27, 2017) “A Tried Brooklyn Transit Hub is Finally Getting Attention.” New York Times. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/26/nyregion/a-tired-brooklyn-transit-hub-finally-getting-attention.html?_r=0. Accessed on Nov. 29, 2017.

[2] NYCEDC. (June 22, 2017) “New York Works: NYCEDC Seeking Proposals for Commercial Office Space in East New York. Press Release. Available at: https://www.nycedc.com/press-release/new-york-works-nycedc-seeking-proposals-commercial-office-space-east-new-york. Accessed on Nov. 29, 2017.

[3] Op. Cit. n1.

[4] Op. Cit. n2.

[5] Ib.

[6] Op. Cit. n1.

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