The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership announced today that Forest City Ratner President and CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin and Makerbot CEO Bre Prettis had been named co-chairs of the organization’s board.

“MaryAnne and Bre embody a new generation of Brooklyn entrepreneurs, and I am delighted that we’ll be able to tap into their experience and wisdom,” Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed said in a press release. “Nothing reflects innovation more than Bre’s ingenious MakerBot 3D Printing Ecosystem and there’s no better example of a prominent CEO and company dedicated to innovation and to the continued success of the Downtown Brooklyn area than MaryAnne and Forest City Ratner Companies.”

DBP is a nonprofit local development corporation that manages three business improvement districts: the MetroTech BID, Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID and Fulton Mall Improvement Association.

Photo by snackaroo


Brooklyn Friends School, an independent private school in downtown Brooklyn, signed a lease today for 45,000 square feet at MetroTech at 116 Lawrence Street, soon to become its new Upper School building. Forest City Ratner manages the 23-story high rise, which faces the courtyard of MetroTech buildings as well as Lawrence and Jay Streets. The new Upper School is just two blocks from Brooklyn Friends’ current campus at 375 Pearl Street and will double the size of the school.

The school facilities are being designed by FXFOWLE Architects and will house four science labs, three art studios, a black box theater, dance and music studios, and more than 1,000 square feet of physical fitness space. Until now, Brooklyn Friends’ high school students have traveled to other buildings so they could use art and science labs, and the new space will allow them to take all their classes in one building. About 770 students from pre-K through high school attend Brooklyn Friends, which recently renovated 8,000 square feet of space at 375 Pearl to accommodate its growing enrollment.

The Quaker school will be one of many large tenants at the MetroTech complex, including MakerBot Industries, NYU Polytechnic Institute, El Diario newspaper and the New York City Fire Department. GMAP


JP Morgan Chase isn’t living up to its end of an agreement to provide a certain number of jobs in exchange for subsidies the bank receives to have offices at MetroTech, according to activists quoted in a Daily News story. Chase said it would bring 5,000 jobs when it signed a 25-year deal for space at Downtown’s MetroTech in 1989—an agreement that gave the bank $235 million in tax breaks and subsidies—but at present the firm only has 1,593 full-time jobs on the books. (The bank says it has the equivalent of 2,600 full-time jobs counting temp and part-time employees.) Nathalie Alegre, an organizer with the Alliance for a Greater New York, is quoted as saying the deal is “is one of the most egregious examples of wasteful corporate subsidies.” Meanwhile, Bettina Damiani, director of Good Jobs New York, says “We shouldn’t be playing games with major corporations and chasing them around the tri-state area. …Subsidies will never make a bad location good.” Industrial Development Agency officials say the deal with Chase only required the company to have 4,500 jobs at MetroTech through 2002, and that they fulfilled that requirement. The subsidies are set to expire at the end of next year.
J.P. Morgan Chase Slammed on City Subsidies for Downtown Brooklyn’s MetroTech [NY Daily News]