New York: New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Maria Torres-Springer today announced the results of a new NYCEDC analysis that shows market demand for new commercial space could reach up to 60 million square feet over the next ten years. Torres-Springer said that NYCEDC is committed to working with the private sector and using all the tools at its disposal to meet that demand, which would represent the largest expansion of commercial office space in New York City since 1973.
The announcement came as part of a speech at the Crain’s Businesses Breakfast Forum, in which President Torres-Springer outlined new and ongoing efforts by NYCEDC to create the space needed for continued economic growth and the creation of good jobs for New Yorkers. The speech focused on opportunities for growth in three key areas – commercial office space, industrial manufacturing space, and life sciences space.
Additional announcements included the creation of a brand new 55,000 square foot hub for advanced manufacturing at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) Annex building in Sunset Park, Brooklyn; a major step forward in reactivating 72-acres of maritime industrial space at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT); and the beginning of a process to bring new commercial office space to the current site of P.C. Richard and Son in Union Square in Manhattan.
Torres-Springer also noted that NYCEDC anticipates demand for 3 million new square feet of space for the life sciences industry over the next decade, to facilitate the next generation of innovation and advances in health care. She discussed a number of projects that would create 750,000 square feet of that needed space.
“To move towards our vision of one, inclusive, and growing New York, we need solid economic fundamentals. All of us in this room share that belief,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “So working together, let’s continue to build a city that all New Yorkers can count on, a place that nurtures all of our potential, and that allows each and every one of us to reach just a little higher.”
Commercial Office Space
With commercial vacancy rates well below the national average, and new businesses starting or moving to the five boroughs every day, there is a clear and growing demand for flexible, modern office space throughout New York City. Today’s announcement represents the first effort by the de Blasio Administration to formally quantify that demand, in order to better plan for the types of development needed to create a steady supply of 21st Century modern, flexible office space.
“High-rise offices define Manhattan’s iconic skyline, and new developments are adding to that profile every year. But even as our supply has increased, demand for commercial space continues to grow rapidly,” said Torres-Springer. “Today, I’m here to announce the results of a new EDC analysis that shows market demand for new commercial space could reach as high as 60 million square feet over the next ten years. And we will use every tool at our disposal to meet that demand: working with the private sector, leveraging city owned assets, investing city capital, and working with our colleagues at other agencies to make sure that commercial space is being considered in new developments. This would be the largest and most rapid pace of office space development New York has seen in almost two generations.”
The NYCEDC analysis is based on the product of projected job growth over the next decade and the estimated average number of square feet required for each worker across a range of employment sectors. The analysis also projects a level of demand higher than some previous estimates, which did not adequately account for the accelerating rate of job growth in the boroughs outside Manhattan.
NYCEDC estimates that roughly 25-30 million square feet of the needed space could be generated in Manhattan, in part through projects like Hudson Yards and the World Trade Center – which will continue to come online over the next few years – and through proposed rezonings like Midtown East. Another 25-30 million square feet could be generated by activating the untapped potential of communities like Downtown Brooklyn, Long Island City, Downtown Jamaica, Lower Concourse in the Bronx, and Staten Island’s North Shore.
President Torres-Springer also announced that NYCEDC is today releasing a Request For Proposals (RFP) for a new commercial development at the current site of P.C. Richard and Son at 124 East 14th Street in Manhattan. This project will bring needed commercial space for creative technology companies in sectors that are currently experiencing rapid growth and job creation.
“The current site of the PC Richard store will serve as a new tech hub in Union Square, capitalizing on the academic and transit advantages offered by the neighborhood and its proximity to the Flatiron District,” said Torres-Springer. “Recognizing the specific needs of the tech community, this development will include a focus on providing step-out space for growing companies. The opportunity to completely redevelop a 15,000 square foot lot, with the capacity for more than 80,000 buildable square feet, is just one example of EDC finding creative uses for the assets we have in a city where space is harder and harder to come by.”
Life Sciences & Biotechnology
In addition to the high levels of demand for commercial office space, New York City has great potential for growth in the commercial life sciences, which could be further unlocked with the creation of new wet laboratory and research and development space.
“We project that there will be market demand for as much as 3 million square feet of new life sciences space by the year 2025 – nearly triple the current amount of this specialized space – and it presents a tremendous opportunity for new development and investment by the private and public sectors,” said Torres-Springer.
Torres-Springer stated that NYCEDC is committed to using every tool at its disposal to meet this demand – including leveraging City assets and capital – and would focus its efforts along Manhattan’s East River Life Sciences Corridor. Some major projects include:
These three sites would contribute roughly 750,000 square feet of new biotech real estate to the city, bringing New York a quarter of the way towards meeting the 3 million square feet of projected demand. NYCEDC will be discussing more projects in this sector over the months ahead.
Industrial and Manufacturing
President Torres-Springer also announced that NYCEDC will be turning 55,000 square feet of newly renovated waterfront industrial space at the BAT Annex building, into a new hub for advanced manufacturing. The new Annex building will be complete and available for lease-up starting in January of next year, offering thousands of square feet of space to some of the city’s most exciting and creative new firms.
As an anchor for the new facility, NYCEDC will be investing up to $10 million in public and private funding in an advanced manufacturing center featuring shared workspace and equipment for the manufacturing community. This center will be a key part of the Futureworks NYC advanced manufacturing network announced by Mayor de Blasio in his recent Industrial Plan.
“I am very excited to announce today that BAT will also be home to our city’s next great hub for advanced manufacturing,” said Torres-Springer. “The new Annex Building will be a home for manufacturers, technology developers, entrepreneurs, industrial artists, and non-profits with a shared passion for learning, teaching, inventing, and making things. It will provide both traditional and advanced manufacturers with cutting-edge equipment, and R&D and prototyping space to drive innovation across industries – while connecting them to a vibrant community of Sunset Park residents, workers, and businesses.”
Finally, Torres-Springer announced that by the end of this year NYCEDC will be releasing an RFP for maritime businesses to operate at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT), which will bring this important piece of the Sunset Park industrial ecosystem online by the end of 2016.
SBMT is a 72-acre marine industrial facility with berthing space for cargo ships and barges. SBMT is the only maritime site in all of Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island with direct rail access, giving it the potential to reinvigorate southern Brooklyn’s transportation networks.
“By bringing this vital asset back into operation, waterborne shipping and logistics capabilities can reconnect Brooklyn to the rest of the country, handling the transport needs of the borough, the City, and the whole region over the next decades,” said Torres-Springer. “An active SBMT will take trucks off City streets, and help build critical redundancy in our shipping networks.”
Support from Local Elected Officials and Industry Stakeholders
“I value the partnership between Brooklyn Borough Hall and NYCEDC, a partnership that is growing stronger under the new leadership of President Torres-Springer,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I appreciate her commitment to expanding commercial office space in Downtown Brooklyn, growing our thriving biotech industry, and developing quality manufacturing opportunities at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. Brooklyn will be stronger because of the vision we share for the borough, a vision where the popularity of our brand translates into prosperity for every Brooklynite.”
“We appreciate the fact that NYCEDC has a five-borough economic development strategy,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. “While much of Staten Island is and wants to remain a bedroom community, portions of our North Shore and West Shore are ideal locations for new commercial office space and industrial manufacturing. The creation of such jobs would give more Staten Islanders the chance to live and work in our borough.”
“Under the leadership of President Torres-Springer, the Economic Development Corporation is making significant long-term economic improvements to our city,” said Council Member David Greenfield. “As the Chair of the Council’s Land Use Committee, I appreciate EDC’s cooperation with the Council in advancing the growth of living wage jobs and building strong, productive neighborhoods. Most recently, our work together in the manufacturing industry will not only keep these middle-class jobs in New York, but will grow the manufacturing industry in a way that could not have been imagined only a few short years ago. I look forward to continuing our work together to build upon New York’s strengths across the sectors of our diverse economy.”
“With these initiatives, NYCEDC is taking action to meet the real estate needs of emerging industrial sectors that, in turn, will generate well paid jobs and put underutilized areas of the Brooklyn waterfront back into service,” said Partnership for New York President and CEO Kathryn Wylde.
“I applaud EDC President Torres-Springer for laying out this vision, and look forward to working with her to expand the life sciences sector in New York City and to create good jobs in all 5 boroughs,” said Council Member Garodnick.
“With these initiatives, EDC is taking action to meet the real estate needs of emerging industrial sectors that, in turn, will generate well paid jobs and put underutilized areas of the Brooklyn waterfront back into service,” said Partnership for New York President and CEO Kathryn Wylde.
“NYCEDC’s focus on strengthening neighborhoods and quality employment is a critical and necessary component of making New York a better, more livable, and more equitable City,” said Association for a Better New York Chairman Bill Rudin. “We applaud the Administration’s focus on increasing commercial office space, diversifying the economy, and increasing transportation access to neighborhoods to further unlock their potential economic growth.”
“Thanks to the strategic vision of Mayor Bill de Blasio and Economic Development Corporation President Maria Torres-Springer, New York City will remain a global leader in innovation, technology and manufacturing, said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo A. Scissura. “The Brooklyn Chamber is particularly thrilled with the creation of millions of square feet of commercial office space, which will help to keep up with the tremendous demand in our borough, as well as the Mayor’s continued commitment to the growing manufacturing sector in neighborhoods like Sunset Park.”
“Maria’s focus on supporting biotech and life sciences in New York will have a tremendous multiplier effect and exactly the kind of smart thinking and planning we need,” said New York Stem Cell Foundation Co-Founder and CEO Susan Solomon. “I look forward to continuing to work with her, her team and the administration to grow this critical sector of the economy.” said Susan Solomon, CEO of the New York Stem Cell Foundation.”
“NYCEDC’s commitment to creating first-class commercial office space will help spur the growth of Downtown Brooklyn’s innovation economy over the next decade,” said Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed. “From Downtown to DUMBO to the Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle is ripe with potential, but we’ll need the commercial investment to meet that demand. Initiatives like those announced today will help pave the way.”
“The Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation is excited to hear about NYCEDC President Torres-Springer’s vision for inclusive economic development,” said SBIDC Executive Director David Meade. “SBIDC applauds the commitment to industrial and manufacturing businesses and is excited to work with NYCEDC on the reactivation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, supporting a new advanced manufacturing center at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and connecting Southwest Brooklyn residents to good industrial and manufacturing jobs that provide career pathways.”
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