To hear politicians like City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, or council members Steve Levin and Letitia James tell it, Downtown Brooklyn is a critical hub of New York City’s blossoming tech industry. A vertex in the so-called “Tech Triangle,” along with Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the area has been (or will soon be) blessed with $100,000 in study money, a new bus line, a master plan, grant programs, a new urban engineering school and an untold number of press releases.
Now it’s just missing one thing: the tech tenants. Besides MakerBot Industries, a 3D printing firm that recently took over a whole floor at Forest City Ratner’s 1 MetroTech, and Aereo, a hi-tech service to access lo-tech over-the-air TV that took up shop at 470 Vanderbilt Avenue (which straddles the border between Fort Greene and Clinton Hill), the area has few of the start-ups that the litter Manhattan neighborhoods like Union Square, the Flatiron District and Chelsea. Never mind the larger established firms like Google and Microsoft. Read More