In New York, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle district is dreamed of in Silicon Valley
In the shadow of the Silicon Valley of San Francisco, New York, the second most “digital” city in the country, wants to reverse the trend by 2015 with the Brooklyn Tech Triangle project.
Large residential towers, giant parking lots, old docks and shipyards, parks and New York office buildings… The view of Brooklyn that visitors have when arriving from New York could quickly change. The Brooklyn Tech Triangle project, whose action plan was unveiled on June 18, provides for the development, by 2015, of three neighborhoods in the area (DUMBO, Brooklyn Navy Yard and Downtown Brooklyn) to attract startups and promote business creation.
The project provides for the construction of new complexes, as well as the fitting out of warehouses and other unused buildings to free up space ranging from 240,000 to 300,000 m², distributed among the three zones. 2.3 billion euros should be invested to develop Wi-Fi coverage, improve the transport network, install recharging stations for mobile phones powered by solar energy or even open an incubator capable of accommodating around twenty startups focused on green energy.
A huge avenue called “Brooklyn Strand” should cut the whole thing and have “the elegance of Parisian boulevards and the energy of Las Ramblas de Barcelona” according to one of the project managers, who also plans a huge helium balloon serving as an observation point or even squares equipped with giant screens …
Almost 10,000 direct jobs created
The goal of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle is to become the real digital lung of the city by ultimately draining nearly 15% of New York’s tech jobs. If the 500 startups already established in the area employ a little less than 10,000 employees, the project should make it possible to double this figure by attracting a hundred new companies. Companies like Etsy e-merchant or The Makerbot 3D printing specialist are already major players in the neighborhood.
In their report, the promoters of the Triangle believe that New York is the second digital power of the United States, behind Silicon Valley but ahead of Boston. Since 2007, 15 New York startups have raised more than 40 billion euros and in 2010 the sector employed nearly 90,000 people in 7,100 companies. Over the past decade, the financial sector, spearheaded by Wall Street, has grown by 2.4% against an average of 5.3% for digital companies.
But in addition to its digital reach, the project must also make it possible to rebalance the attractiveness of the territory between the DUMBO and Brooklyn Navy Yard districts, marked by real estate speculation, and Downtown Brooklyn where investors are scarce despite the space available. Benefiting from the proximity of a dozen universities and a reservoir of 57,000 students, the Triangle will have a role of evangelizer while most New York startups complain of a lack of manpower qualified.