December 7, 2016
BROOKLYN, NY, December 7, 2016: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams unveiled more than $6 million in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) funds from Brooklyn Borough Hall to advance economic development initiatives across the borough. The announcement was made at BioBAT, a non-profit science and technology center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park; they will receive $1 million for the outfitting of infrastructure for life science and technology companies occupying their lab and manufacturing space. To highlight this investment’s impact on the future of Brooklyn’s economy, he was joined by a group of pre-kindergarten students, clad in little lab coats, who are part of an innovative STEM education program at BioBAT that has been funded through Borough President Adams’ FY17 capital budget.
“This capital budget is part of our philosophy of ‘cradle to career,’” said Borough President Adams. “How do we prepare our children for tomorrow? I was amazed, in my first few months as borough president, sitting down with many of our business leaders, when they stated quite frankly that many people here in the borough of Brooklyn were not prepared to fulfill their jobs. We wanted to stop that and we’re going to stop that. In order to move Brooklyn forward in the right direction, we have to make sure we fund its development in the proper manner.”
BioBAT is a joint venture of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Research Foundation for the State University of New York (SUNY) on behalf of Downstate Medical Center in East Flatbush. Last year, Borough President Adams directed $513,000 to that facility for specialized infrastructure in their biotechnology incubator.
“We are honored to be part of Borough President Adams’ economic development allocations for FY17,” said Dr. Michael Lucchesi, chief medical officer and officer-in-charge at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. “We would like to thank Borough President Adams for his allocation of $1 million for BioBAT at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. These funds will be used for tenant fit-out for biotechnology companies looking to expand in New York City. Borough President Adams’ support of our biotech initiative (Downstate Biotech Incubator and BioBAT) is making Brooklyn a center of biotechnology. We look forward to continuing to work together.”
“NYCEDC has created at Brooklyn Army Terminal the right environment for innovation and job creation,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “I thank Borough President Adams for his ongoing support of BioBAT and pledge my own. BioBAT, a not-for-profit created in partnership with SUNY and Downstate Medical Center, is a shining example of world-class innovation and hosts tenants like the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI). The enterprises at BioBAT are doing the work that will change our lives, create jobs, and sustain New York’s economy.”
“Everyone at IRX is thrilled to be at the new BioBAT facility,” said Jeffrey Hwang, president and COO of IRX Therapeutics, Inc. “Most of our employees live in the five boroughs. It is great to be able to consolidate all of our operations personnel into one beautiful waterfront location. We also thank Borough President Adams and SUNY Downstate for their foresight to invest in BioBAT to address the needs of biotech companies who need quality space to expand their operations and a location that can attract new talent from the five boroughs.”
In addition to the $1 million going toward BioBAT, Borough President Adams highlighted his ongoing partnership with NYCEDC through an additional $3.6 million in investment to advance key assets across the borough, including the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, Flatbush Caton Market in Flatbush, and Moore Street Market in East Williamsburg.
“We are grateful for Borough President Adams’ staunch commitment to smart, equitable economic development across the great borough of Brooklyn,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “NYCEDC is proud to have partnered with Borough President Adams on several key initiatives to strengthen neighborhoods across Brooklyn — from growing industrial jobs at the Brooklyn Army Terminal to supporting affordable housing development at Flatbush Caton. The investment announced today will make Brooklyn an even better place to call home, and we look forward to continuing to work with Borough President Adams in this shared goal.”
Two additional economic development projects in Sunset Park were supported through Borough President Adams’ FY17 capital budget. He allotted $350,000 to Industry City for street safety and streetscape improvements to create safer crossings for employees and residents, addressing the challenge for one of the most dangerous transportation corridors in the city. Additionally, Borough President Adams designated $35,000 for the Sunset Park Business Improvement District (BID) to advance their “5th Avenue Wired” initiative, which will leverage previous investments in the BID’s free Wi-Fi in order to place wireless speakers on either end of the 26-block retail strip; the speakers will play community announcements and music, creating a more pleasant shopping experience.
Attracting consumer activity was also a factor in the $575,000 grant that Borough President Adams gave to the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District and the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, who are partnering on a project that will bring historic street lighting to a stretch from Atlantic Avenue to Plaza Street.
“With these lights, Vanderbilt Avenue is continuing its transformation into one of Brooklyn’s prominent retail destinations,” said Ellen Fishman, president of the Vanderbilt Avenue Merchants District. “These new lights bring a major enhancement of the street’s visual appeal. They will benefit residents, visitors, and especially the businesses on the avenue. We are extraordinarily grateful to Borough President Adams for his interest and efforts, which are making this fantastic upgrade possible.”
“We’re excited to partner with Borough President Adams on this latest initiative to improve the experience on Vanderbilt Avenue for pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and businesses,” said Gib Veconi, chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “The historic reproduction fixtures to be installed closely replicate lampposts that appear in photographs of Vanderbilt Avenue from a century ago. They will provide strong visual continuity along a street that includes a large number of properties in New York City Landmark and National Register Historic districts, alongside 20th century commercial and residential buildings, as well as contemporary architecture at Pacific Park.”
Finally, Borough President Adams allocated $480,000 to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Shuttle System, a free service that will better connect employees to their place of business. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was also the beneficiary of $1 million in investment from his FY16 capital budget, including $500,000 for the reconstruction of Building 77 and $500,000 for the build-out of New Lab.
“Borough President Adams’ investment in the new transportation system at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is crucial to connecting our growing workforce with direct access to all corners of the city,” said David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “We expect the Yard’s workforce to more than double over the next five years, and we are modernizing every element of our infrastructure to make it the best place to work and run a business in Brooklyn. This investment by Borough President Adams will fund an expanded shuttle system that directly connects the Yard to 13 local subway lines. The new transportation system is vital to connecting New Yorkers with high-quality jobs at the Yard, and will help develop more robust partnerships with the greater Brooklyn community, from our public schools and universities to local businesses and residents. Thank you to Borough President Adams for your unwavering commitment to the future of the Navy Yard and the growth of our thriving businesses and middle-class jobs.”
“Throughout its illustrious history, the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been an integral component of our borough’s economic growth and development,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo. “As this industrial space continues to expand, attracting new businesses and creating thousands of jobs, the new shuttle service will make the Yard and local transportation more accessible to the local workforce, area residents, and students. These enhancements will generate new opportunities to increase community participation in existing and future programs.”
Following remarks by recipients, Borough President Adams presented each of them with an honorary check with the seal of Brooklyn Borough Hall and an oversized check, made out to “One Brooklyn,” for economic development.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams joined Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, business leaders, community advocates, and a class of pre-kindergarten students dressed in lab coats at BioBAT, a non-profit science and technology center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, as he announced more than $6 million in funding from his FY17 capital budget that he is investing in advancing economic development across Brooklyn; he held an oversized check made out to “One Brooklyn” for economic development.
Photo Credit: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office
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