The Legacy of Digital NYC: Prewired commercial space at great values

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To the dismay of many, Digital New York City, one of the city?s largest technology initiatives, expired on June 30 of this year. Sources inside the Department of Small Business Services (SBS) say things really were over at Digital NYC as early as June 2003, but due to project ?overhang? and extensions?government-speak for all sorts of budgetary machinations?the initiative?s official demise came a full year later. The initiative was launched in August 2001. To date, there has been no word on whether the initiative will be revived.

During its lifetime, Digital NYC promoted affordable, prewired office space, with high-speed Internet connectivity, for companies in designated business districts in the city?s five boroughs. An array of city, state and federal cost-saving incentives was made available to qualified companies that located to these so-called Digital NYC districts. Each district also offered networking opportunities, business assistance and employment training programs.

Now that the program has ended, local community development corporations are offering up the prewired space at ?great values,? according to SBS. Here?s a list of the districts and the contact information for their representatives.

BRONX (BRONXSMART)
The South Bronx Technology District, located in the Port Morris section of the Bronx, extending from the southernmost end of the borough, east of Third Avenue from Lincoln Avenue to Brown Place. Contact Ericka Powell, program coordinator, SoBRO Venture Center. Tel.: 718-665-5076; e-mail: epowell@sobro.org; Web site: www.sobro.org.

BROOKLYN (BROADBAND BROOKLYN)
Brooklyn Navy Yard Technology District, a 264-acre, 4.3 million-square-foot, industrial complex on the waterfront. Contact: Thomas Maiorano, director of leasing, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. Tel.: 718-852-1441;e-mail: maiorano@brooklynnavyyard.org; Web site: www.brooklynnavyyard.org.

Downtown Brooklyn Connected, spanning downtown Brooklyn, New York City?s third largest central business district, and the area called Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO).? Mack Tham, manager, real estate and development, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. 718-875-1000; mtham@brooklynchamber.com; www.downtownbrooklynconnected.com.

Silicon Harbor Technology District, on the Red Hook waterfront. Contact: Phaedra Thomas, director, Red Hook and Gowanus Programs, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp. Tel.: 718-965-3100, ext. 108; e-mail: pthomas@swbidc.org; Web site: www.siliconharbor.org.

Brooklyn Information Technology Center. Located in Sunset Park, the BITC is a waterfront industrial-residential area bordered by Park Slope to the north and Bay Ridge to the south. Contact: Leah Archibald, marketing director, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corp. Tel.: 718-965-3100, ext. 24; e-mail: larchibald@swbidc.org; Web site: www.swbidc.org.

MANHATTAN
Harlem Internet Way 125 (HIWay 125), extending along the 125th Street commercial corridor. Contact: James Simmons, senior vice president, business investments, Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. Tel.: 212-410-0030, ext. 125; e-mail: info@hiway125.org; Web site: www.hiway125.org.

QUEENS
CyberCity at Long Island City (CyberCity@LIC), at the geographic heart of the New York City. LIC is New York City?s fourth largest central business district. Contact: Dan Miner, director of special projects, Long Island City Business Development Corp. 718-786-5300, ext. 32; dminer@licbdc.org; Web site: www.licbdc.org.

STATEN ISLAND
Staten Island High-End Urban Bandwidth (SI HUB), in the St. George neighborhood, within walking distance of the St. George Station ferry terminal complex. Contact: Helen Tvedt, program manager, Staten Island Economic Development Corp.; Tel.: 718-477-1400, ext.14; e-mail: info@siedc.net.