BROOKLYN, NY-The Downtown Brooklyn Plan, which calls for the creation of 4.5 million sf of new commercial office space, has been approved. The initiative also calls for 800,000 sf of retail, approximately 1,000 units of housing as well as open space and streetscape improvements.

The approval came as a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Bank of New York’s move into a 10-story, 396,000-sf tower above the Atlantic Terminal transit hub was held. Prior to Sept. 11, 2001, the bank occupied 2.5 million sf of office space at several locations in Lower Manhattan.

The bank’s move builds on more than seven million sf of corporate office space created in the past two decades. The plan envisions the creation of three new office towers with as much as three million sf in addition to an 848,000-sf office development anchoring the west end at Boerum Place. The plan also calls for new residential and office opportunities throughout the Downtown area, a mixed-use cultural district with a library, theaters, galleries and rehearsal spaces.

The city worked with representatives from the local community to address quality of life improvements, including traffic management and parking facilities. The public review process began in April, 2003. Several changes were made to the plan during the public review and approval process; for example, height limits were established on development on the east side of the Flatbush Avenue Extension from Myrtle Avenue to Willoughby Street.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg notes that Downtown Brooklyn’s business district offers as much office space as Atlanta and St. Louis. “This plan will go a long way towards ensuring New York’s competitiveness for decades to come.”

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