On April 3rd of 2022, we blogged about Brookfield Properties renaming Metro Tech Center to now be called Brooklyn Commons in a $50M effort to rebrand the complex as a “vibrant hub for business, education, art, culture and community”. According to Callie Haines, Executive V.P. And head of New York, Brookfield Properties.
This blog will provide an update on the efforts of Brookfield Properties in this re-branding of Metro Tech/ Brooklyn Commons.
To refresh the public spaces of Brooklyn Commons, a courtyard of 110 honey locust trees is staying, the hard green metal benches, dim lamp post lighting and kitschy, over sized shrubs are going. In their place will be comfortable wooden benches, modern lighting and more natural looking plantings.
There had been Zumba classes, badminton, ice skating, movie nights, art exhibits and a pop up beer garden. These events were brought about by the pandemic and the need for expanded programming in the courtyard.
Moving in are Blank Street Coffee, Naya and Chinah restaurants.
The old Metro Tech Center was screaming for an update. City and business leaders have steadily seen the benefits of parks and plazas for health and the environment as well as adding economic value by attracting more companies, increasing foot traffic and luring workers back to the office.
A prime example of the benefit of green space is the very popular Domino Park created in 2018 by Two Trees Management, the developer. The $80M investment paid off according to David Lombino, Two Trees managing director saying “ The plan worked, the nearby buildings are fully leased with waiting lists”. “There is an unlimited demand for quality open space in New York City”.
Every other neighborhood surrounding Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights all flourished with an influx of young professionals and entrepreneurs. Brooklyn became HOT! But Metro Tech, not so much.
When Metro Tech entered Downtown Brooklyn in the 1980's the neighborhood had become rundown. Downtown Brooklyn emptied out at night and people went back to their neighborhoods.
According to Regina Myer, the President of The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, an economic development group Metro Tech was built at a time when the idea of a rebirth of Downtown Brooklyn was a big risky idea”.
In 2004, a large scale rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn set off a residential building boom that transformed the neighborhood into a thriving 24-7 destination. Callie Haines says “we are giving people reasons to come here”.
To be continued...
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