MetroTech Center is a business and educational center in Downtown Brooklyn, New York City. It is the nation's largest urban university-industry science and technology park. Original occupants of this area include JPMorgan Chase, New York City Fire Department, Bear Stearns, Keyspan Energy (now National Grid), Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, and NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Later tenants include MakerBot Industries, Brooklyn Nets, the Ms. Foundation for Women, El Diario La Prensa, Robert Half International, UniWorld Group, and HeartShare Human Services of New York. The Marriott Hotel at Brooklyn Bridge is located across Jay Street from the center.
MetroTech Center lies between Flatbush Avenue Extension and Jay Street, north of the Fulton Street Mall and south of the busy Tillary Street, close to Brooklyn's Civic Center (Borough Hall, courts) and Brooklyn Heights. The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering (previously named Polytechnic University) is one of MetroTech's founding members.
The MetroTech Business Improvement District (BID), a non-profit organization, provides sanitation, marketing, and events programming services to the area.
The decades of the 1980s and 1990s were a period of major large-scale development activity in Downtown Brooklyn. At the center of this revitalization stood the MetroTech Center office complex, which is within walking distance of several other major development projects including Pierrepont Plaza, the Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, Atlantic Terminal Mall, and Renaissance Plaza. MetroTech stands as a symbol of Downtown Brooklyn’s rejuvenation.
In an effort to resuscitate Downtown Brooklyn a decade earlier, former Polytechnic University President George Bugliarello had advanced the idea of creating a center for research and development modeled on the lines of “Silicon Valley.” Several years later, the City agreed to designate Polytechnic as the urban renewal sponsor, under the condition that forward movement of the project required obtaining a commitment from two tenants. Both the City and Polytechnic chose Forest City Enterprises as the project’s main developer based on its years of experience, commitment to stay in the area, and financial capacity. Forest City Ratner and Borough President Howard Golden represented the best aspects of public-private partnership and they quickly redefined the MetroTech vision from a research and development park to a campus centered back office complex.
As Forest City negotiated with Morgan Stanley, two other major corporate players were being wooed for the MetroTech site: the Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC) and Brooklyn Union Gas (BUG). The fact that the MetroTech site sat on a separate power grid from Manhattan proved to be the key for SIAC because this meant their operations in Downtown Brooklyn would be safe if Manhattan ever experienced a power failure (as seen in 1977). The final and greatest victory, which sealed the fate of the MetroTech vision first put forth by Polytechnic President Bugliarello, was convincing Chase Manhattan Bank to move its back operations to MetroTech.
MetroTech was formed in 1992 by making a 16 acres (65,000 m2) rectangle (bounded by Jay Street, Johnson Street, Flatbush Avenue, and Myrtle Avenue) a Pedestrian zone, in connection with the erection of new office buildings and parking garages. As a consequence, the north ends of Lawrence and Duffield Streets were also freed from motor traffic.
MetroTech Commons, the 3.5-acre (14,000 m2) privately owned public space at the heart of the MetroTech complex, hosts events including concerts, health fairs, chess tournaments and holiday celebrations. Bounded by Lawrence and Duffield Streets, the square is frequently adorned by modern art exhibits. Two pieces called Alligator and Visionary are part of the Commons' permanent public art collection by the well-known sculptor Tom Otterness.
MakerBot Industries has its headquarters on the 21st floor of 1 MetroTech Center.
HomerLearning, Inc. has its headquarters on the 3rd floor of 1 MetroTech Center North.
TransCare Corporation has its headquarters in 1 MetroTech Center.
It also was the headquarters of MetroTech Corporation, which went out of business in 2005.
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