With Innovation Firms Thriving, Brooklyn Tech Triangle Hungers for Even More Office Space

Downtown Brooklyn seen from Dumbo

The Brooklyn Tech Triangle — encompassing Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard — was conceived in 2013 by a coalition of businesses advocating for more office space and worker amenities in the borough’s commercial hub.

Two years later, the group has released an update calling for — surprise! — yet more office space.

The group is made of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. and the Dumbo Improvement District. While the group’s goals are far from astonishing, the supporting numbers are impressive.

The Tech Triangle is currently home to 1,351 innovation companies, but that number is projected to only get bigger.

The report states that between 2009 and 2015, the Tech Triangle experienced an 87 percent increase in “innovation employment growth” — which we take to mean creative and technology-related jobs.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle

Office space in the Dumbo Heights Complex is already getting gobbled up

Over just the last three years, the number of innovation jobs in the region have grown from 11,967 to 17,302, and the economic impact of these businesses increased from $3.5 billion to $5.3 billion, according to the report.

But as more companies move to the Triangle or expand, so does their office footprint. Brownstoner readers already know the demand for office space is particularly high in Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Navy Yard — the highest it’s been since World War II. Only 3 percent of office space in the area is currently vacant.

brooklyn-tech-triangle-map

Map of Tech Triangle with key resources. Image by Brooklyn Tech Triangle

If this pace of commercial growth continues for another decade, the demand for work space within the Tech Triangle is projected to reach nearly 10 million square feet. But — uh oh — only 6.7 million square feet is in the pipeline.

According to the report, that deficit could mean a loss of 18,000 jobs and $4.8 billion in economic impact.

Brooklyn Tech Triangle

Workers take a break outside of Building 77 in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The massive renovation will add 1,000,000 square feet of work space when finished next year

To meet demand and continue encouraging business and economic growth, the Triangle report advocates for the creation of additional office space, as well as for a more efficient repurposing of government-owned offices in Downtown Brooklyn.

But the findings weren’t solely office-centric. The report smartly called for intelligent growth, including expanded education and transit infrastructure and enhanced green spaces.

With office space at a premium and the Brooklyn population growing, we suspect the seemingly perpetual call for more office space is not mere hype but clever foresight.

Here’s the full report at the Brooklyn Tech Triangle website.

[Photos: Barbara Eldredge]

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