Mayor Has Big Plans for Downtown Brooklyn

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The mayor from Brooklyn has a vision for downtown: To make it feel more like a community. To that end, he plans to announce a series of initiatives today, The Wall Street Journal reported, including:

*Expanding a 21-acre greenway from the courthouses to the waterfront by linking park spaces.
*Launching a business improvement district association.
*Allowing retail on the ground floor of some buildings owned by the city.
*Improving streets near the Brooklyn Bridge by widening pedestrian areas and installing benches.
*Creating a college consortium composed of the 11 schools in the area with $200,000 in funding from EDC.
*Continuing with some Bloomberg-era efforts, such as reopening BAM Park and building a one-acre park in Willoughby Square.

The area has been rapidly improving, thanks to 5,000 new units of housing and six new hotels since 2004, said a report out yesterday from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. Bloomberg spent $400,000,000 upgrading the infrastructure in the area. “Some 7,800 new residential units are in the pipeline, but the area remains plagued by tough-to-navigate intersections and rundown public spaces,” said the WSJ story. “Politicians, residents and local business leaders want to make the area feel more like a community.”

The mayor also hopes the changes will attract more businesses to the area.

According to Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, “There’s all of these interesting things going on in downtown Brooklyn, but it’s not really interconnected in a way that you can walk around and feel like it’s a really positive urban walkability experience.”

Do you think these initiatives would help? How do you think the area could be helped?

A Makeover for Downtown Brooklyn [WSJ]

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