Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces 20-Point Plan for Job Growth in East New York, Brooklyn

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Bill de BlasioIn our 2014 article entitled, “East New York Activates Vital Space for Business Owners,” we reported that local economic developers and community revitalization advocates were making efforts to help business owners and, ultimately, drive business to the East New York (ENY) section of Brooklyn.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Rafael Espinal announced a 20-point plan for job growth in that community.

The package is comprised of 20 strategic commitments that will bring over $16 million in infrastructure improvements to the ENY Industrial Business Zone. By catalyzing better activation of underutilized properties as well as new construction, the ENY IBZ Plan could help create up to 2.7 million square feet of new and modernized space over the next decade, which could provide space for as many as 250 additional companies and 4,000 new jobs.

The announcement is a follow-up to the mayor’s 2015 unveiling of an action plan designed to grow industrial and manfacturing jobs in NYC.

“For generations, East New York has been a hub for well-paying industrial jobs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this plan, and millions of dollars of investment, we’re not only preserving these critical jobs – we’re helping keep East New York at the forefront of our industrial economy for generations to come.”

“Although the unemployment rate in Brooklyn has decreased in recent years, East New York still struggles with unemployment rates in the double digits. From the moment Mayor de Blasio announced his plans to rezone East New York, I made it clear that any affordable housing plan must also include a jobs plan – and the jobs plan must start with the East New York IBZ. Today’s announcement sets out a plan to not only invest in the businesses that exist in the IBZ today, but also a plan to invest in the people of East New York, ensuring that East New York residents have the tools they need to compete for jobs in the IBZ,” said Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.

Highlights of Mayor de Blasio’s plan include:

•    $6 million in improvements to the City-owned East New York Industrial Building to create a modern industrial space for 6 new companies

•    Up to $2.5 million to bring affordable high-speed broadband access, capability and reliability for 250 businesses in the IBZ

•    $8.2 million in infrastructure investment, including new sidewalks and street repaving, new lighting around transit infrastructure and safety improvements to the Sutter Avenue L-train stop.

As industrial firms are facing real estate pressures in more expensive industrial markets like Gowanus and Greenpoint-Williamsburg, the ENY IBZ has the potential to provide new homes for companies that might otherwise relocate out of the five boroughs. Additionally, the anticipated construction activity in adjacent neighborhoods from the proposed East New York Community Plan would provide excellent opportunities for existing and future IBZ businesses.

“The Local Development Corporation East New York and East Brooklyn BID have invested countless hours over several decades aimed at improving and maintaining the East Brooklyn Industrial Park. We are pleased that this administration, NYC EDC and NYC DSBS are providing the resources and policies that prove in a meaningful way they are listening to the voices of economic development professionals and to local companies that once were the backbone of our economy. Let us be mindful, these companies still play a vital role in our respective communities by providing employment opportunities for local residents. Subsequently, these companies need functional ‘business friendly’ industrial parks equipped with 21st century technology in order to compete in today’s market place,” said Bill Wilkins, Director of Economic Development Corporation of East New York.