December 7, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Operations Stephen Goldsmith and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz today announced a plan to transform part of the City-owned Brooklyn Municipal Building into a vibrant retail use. The City issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) today seeking a developer or commercial business to buy or lease 37,000 square feet on the ground floor and second floor of the building at 210 Joralemon Street in Downtown Brooklyn. The space is currently occupied by the Department of Finance, which will relocate its operations there within the building. The plan will build on the City’s efforts to promote the increasingly vibrant retail scene in Downtown Brooklyn and is part of the City’s efforts to use space it owns and leases more efficiently, as committed to by Mayor Bloomberg in the 2010 State of the City speech. Deputy Mayors Steel and Goldsmith and Borough President Markowitz made the announcement at the Brooklyn Municipal Building, where they were joined by New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Department of Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel, Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Edna Wells Handy, City Council Member Stephen Levin, State Assembly Member Joan Millman and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Joe Chan.“Downtown Brooklyn is already a major retail destination, attracting more than 150,000 shoppers everyday, and with all of the new stores coming to the area, it’s poised to become an even greater hub of activity,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We’ll capitalize on that momentum and contribute to it by transforming the prime space in the Brooklyn Municipal Building into an active retail destination. It’s part of our plan to increase the efficiency of City-owned space, which is helping is save taxpayer dollars, generate revenue and create jobs.”
“We are looking for ways to spur growth in retail corridors in all five boroughs, and Downtown Brooklyn represents one of our best opportunities to do that,” said Deputy Mayor Steel. “By turning to the private sector to transform this prime space at the historic Brooklyn Municipal Building, we’ll make progress on our goals of adding to the vitality of the area and creating jobs for residents.”
“The redevelopment of the Brooklyn Municipal Building will bring us another step closer to the City’s goal of reducing its office space portfolio by 1.2 million square feet by 2014,” said Deputy Mayor Goldsmith. “This project is an excellent example of how streamlining government operations can clear the way for economic development.”
“The iconic and beautiful Municipal Building has the foot traffic and the perfect location to help fuel a renaissance along Court Street and add to our growing list of retail about to set up shop in Downtown Brooklyn, including H & M, Aéropostale, Filene’s/Syms and Shake Shack all coming to Fulton Mall, as well as Panera Bread and future retail opportunities at City Point and the area around the Barclays Center,” said Borough President Markowitz. “With all of us looking at ways to consolidate municipal space throughout the City, bringing exciting retail or other compatible uses to the Municipal Building and our vibrant, 24/7 live-work Downtown is an idea that is fortunately moving forward today with the announcement of this RFP.”
The RFP is being issued by the New York City Economic Development Corporation. The 37,000-square-foot site is comprised of the western portion of the ground and second floors on a visible and active corner of the building, featuring 18-foot ceilings and frontage along both Court and Joralemon Streets. The 13-story, 383,000 square-foot Brooklyn Municipal Building was designed by architects McKenzie, Voorhees & Gmelin and erected in 1925. Adjacent to the iconic Brooklyn Borough Hall, the site has excellent transit access and is served by 14 subway lines and 16 buses.
The Brooklyn Municipal Building space will complement and add to the growing retail landscape in Downtown Brooklyn. Major retailers including Barney’s Co-Op and Aeropostale have recently opened Downtown Brooklyn locations, and others including H&M, Shake Shack and Panera Bread are also soon to open in the neighborhood. Panera Bread will open at 345 Adams Street, where a similar effort was undertaken to relocate the ground-floor office of the NYC Department of Finance. The nearby CityPoint development includes 50,000 square feet of retail and is expected to be complete in the summer of 2012.
In the 2010 State of the City speech, Mayor Bloomberg committed to reducing the City’s office space by 1.2 million square feet by the end of 2014, saving $36 million annually. As part of the effort, the City will sell or lease vacated space where appropriate to generate jobs, revenue and economic activity. Currently, the NYC Department of Finance Business Center occupies approximately 19,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Brooklyn Municipal Building site and the NYC Department of Finance Property Assessment Division occupies roughly18,000 square feet on the 2nd floor. A new tenant would not acquire the space until 2012, following the selection process, environmental and public land-use review processes and Department of Finance relocation.
“We are looking forward to receiving proposals that will further add to Downtown Brooklyn’s vibrant retail scene and serve the needs of the local community,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky. “This neighborhood is an engine of growth for Brooklyn’s and the City’s economy, providing an increasing number of quality jobs for local residents and attracting new businesses, visitors and shoppers, every day.”
“I am thrilled that this RFP is being released this Monday,” said Council Member Levin. “The Municipal Building is an ideal location for commercial space and I know that Brooklyn will have many exciting options to choose from.”
“Downtown Brooklyn’s recent growth has been the result of an ongoing public/private partnership,” said Alan Fishman, chair of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “The decision to create retail space in the Brooklyn Municipal Building is the latest example of the governments efforts to spur economic development in the area. It will enliven a critical corridor of Downtown Brooklyn, create hundreds of new jobs and better link the area to the surrounding residential communities.”
The plan aims to diversify and enhance the growth of the Downtown Brooklyn retail landscape and create quality jobs for local residents. The site will maximize permanent employment opportunities for the City’s local and disadvantaged residents through participation in the HireNYC Program, a free program that connects the City’s workforce development services to economic development projects.
Since its rezoning in 2004, Downtown Brooklyn has been undergoing a dynamic transformation as a result of billions of dollars in public and private investments, and has become a shopping and dining destination attracting more than 150,000 shoppers daily. The area around the Brooklyn Municipal Building is primarily characterized by a vibrant mix of cultural and community organizations, civic and academic institutions, commercial and residential buildings uses interspersed with open space.
Responses to the RFP are due February 7, 2011. To review the RFP, visit www.nycedc.com.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.
* Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent
* Mark Zustovich (Brooklyn Borough President)
* Julie Wood (NYCEDC)
* Shane Kavanagh (Downtown Brooklyn Partnership)