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 center is above the Jay Street – MetroTech New York City Subway station, served by the A C F N R trains.
It is the nation's largest urban academic-industrial research park. Occupants of this area include JPMorgan Chase, New York City Fire Department, Verizon Human Resources, Keyspan Energy (now National Grid), Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, New York City College of Technology and NYU Tandon School of Engineering. Later tenants include MakerBot Industries, Brooklyn Nets, Slate magazine, the Ms. Foundation for Women, El Diario La Prensa, Robert Half International, UniWorld Group, and HeartShare Human Services of New York. The NYU Tandon School of Engineering (previously named Polytechnic University) was one of MetroTech's founding members. The Marriott Hotel at Brooklyn Bridge is located across Jay Street from the center. The MetroTech Business Improvement District, a non-profit organization, provides sanitation, marketing, and events programming services.
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. The creation of the MetroTech was controversial at the time because it involved the demolition of over 100 homes and 50 businesses.
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.
- ImpreMedia has its headquarters on the 18th floor of 1 MetroTech Center. El Diario La Prensa, a newspaper of ImpreMedia, has its offices on the same floor.
- The New York City Fire Department has its headquarters in 9 MetroTech Center, which has eight stories and 360,000 square feet (33,000 m2) of space.
- TransCare Corporation has its headquarters in 1 MetroTech Center.
- National Grid, gas utility company
- Sanz, Cynthia (1986-01-05). "BROOKLYN'S POLYTECH, A STORYBOOK SUCCESS". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-13.
- Oser, Alan (January 6, 1985). "METROTECH: A TEST FOR A NEW FORM OF URBAN RENEWAL". The New York Times. Retrieved Feb 8, 2015.
- "Contact." ImpreMedia. Retrieved on June 1, 2010.
- "9 Metrotech Center - FDNY Headquarters." Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corp. Retrieved on November 5, 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to MetroTech Center.|
- Official website, MetroTech Business Improvement District (BID)