Tucker Reed is sweet on Brooklyn—big time. A resident of Prospect Heights who enjoys frequenting the Barclays Center, the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Mr. Reed is a champion of the city’s most populous borough. He is a ball of energy as he talks about all of the work the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership has done with him as president for the past two years, from supporting the technology sector with the Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition to establishing Downtown Brooklyn as New York City’s college town. About a year after Commercial Observer conducted the Sit-Down interview with Mr. Tucker, we wanted to check in and see how the nonprofit has been doing with the reinvention of Downtown Brooklyn.
MaryAnne Gilmartin, president and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies, and tech leader MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis will serve as the new co-chairs of the board of directors of the nonprofit Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
“When the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership launched in 2006, Downtown Brooklyn looked, felt and served a very different role than today,” Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed said in a statement. “Now, new firms and families are choosing to be here because of the neighborhood’s strong foundation and rich history. MaryAnne and Bre embody a new generation of Brooklyn entrepreneurs, and I am delighted that we’ll be able to tap into their experience and wisdom.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced two new tech initiatives to expand the city’s access to wireless and broadband connectivity, one of which encourages the deployment of leading broadband technologies across its commercial real estate buildings.
The Wireless Corridor Challenge will establish new public WiFi corridors in each of the five boroughs, while WiredNYC, described as LEED Read More
Even though Forest City Ratner made sure to tout the groundbreaking of the first housing tower at Atlantic Yards late last fall, few would have described the developer’s approach towards housing, particularly affordable housing, as passionate. Forest City Ratner itself has made no secret of the fact that its focus was on the arena, the linchpin of the development site and the first and only building to be completed up to this point.
Apparently, though, newly appointed president and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin is now thrilled about affordable housing. As she told a crowd of urban planning gurus, developers and real estate powerbrokers at a CURE. (Center for Urban Real Estate) dinner at Columbia University Wednesday night, while all of the positive feedback on the arena had been nice, “it is the housing component that will truly revolutionize the project.”
An Arena Grows in Brooklyn
When Forest City Ratner executive vice president—and soon to be CEO, once Bruce Ratner steps down—MaryAnne Gilmartin spoke to Westchester Magazine, she was asked for “the most baseless criticism” leveled against her. She responded, “That I don’t really know Brooklyn, so I’m not qualified to develop a project there. I lived in Brooklyn from 1988 to 1993.”
That criticism is about to get a little more baseless: Ms. Gilmartin and her husband, James, just bought a townhouse in Park Slope, according to city records. The couple paid $3.85 million for the four-story, 20-foot-wide brownstone at 113 St. John’s Place, and will presumably be moving from their home in Edgemont, New York.
Week In Review
It could be the biggest thing to come to Atlantic Yards since Barbara Streisand and Justin Beiber announced they would be playing concerts at the Barclays Center this fall. While everyone (but the neighbors and former neighbors) is looking forward to the opening of the new arena, Forest City Ratner now has its eyes trained across the street, to the two malls it owns there.
Once work on the arena is complete, the difficult task of moving forward with the adjoining apartment buildings lies ahead. But as interest in the area’s retail has boomed in anticipation of the new 18,000-seat venue, Forest City Ratner has also accelerated plans to redevelop the Atlantic Center and Atlantic Terminal malls.
“It’s an obvious opportunity,” MaryAnne Gilmartin, Forest City’s executive vice president, told The Observer. “One of the many things we think about is the impact the arena will have, and how we can help create a holistic neighborhood at Atlantic Yards from there.”
Prefabricated buildings have not been such a hot topic of conversation since Buckminster Fuller passed away, but that is about all anyone can talk about at Atlantic Yards anymore. On the one hand, it could signal a paradigm shift in how New York City builds; on the other, it goes against many of the employment promises Forest City Ratner made when the project won support from politicians and labor unions.
The recession, the credit crunch and the inherent difficulty of building in the most densely settled city in America: These are just a few of the challenges that have dogged the Atlantic Yards project since its announcement, in December 2003. Add to these general obstacles a small group of litigious opponents who vowed Read More
Forest City Ratner’s Executive Vice President Jim Stuckey got promoted today to President of the Atlantic Yards Development Group. The new title means he will continue to see through other commercial projects but not take on development of new ones, devoting more time to the 22-acre controversy in Brooklyn. Pipeline work will go Read More