Sen. Montgomery Reports: Along Brooklyn’s Western Waterfront, Industrial Revolution In Progress

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New Community Partnerships to be Forged; Strategic Plans for Thousands  of Job Opportunities in Development

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is enjoying unparalleled success and worldwide visibility, thanks to the efforts of its development corporation, strong anchor tenants like Steiner Studios and the unique creative spirit of Brooklynites “to make a way”.

Now, community leaders are banking on other Brooklyn western waterfront sites to shore up interest in doing business in Brooklyn.  For state Senator Velmanette Montgomery, whose finger  is always on the pulse of the community, says that means “more jobs, jobs, jobs” and helping forge creative, sustainable partnerships between community-based entities — schools, programs and small businesses– and major industries and community builders.

She called a meeting to discuss Waterfront/Industrial Economic Opportunity, and attendance nearly tripled the number of guests expected.

The top tier industry presenters included: Andrew Kimball and David Meade, representing Industry City Associates and Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation; David Ehrenberg, speaking for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation; and Leah Archibald for the St. Nicks Alliance (EWVIDCO).

At the forefront of opportunities at Brooklyn's western  Waterfront: New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery  (third from right) linked Central Brooklyn community leaders with heads of Brooklyn waterfront industries, last month.  Seen here with her, from left, are community development activist Mr. Reginald Swiney; Tremaine Wright, the new chair of Community Board 3 (CB3); Ms. Jacqui Woods, Special Arts Project Manager and chief curator for the Skylight Gallery of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Mr. Henry Butler, the District Manager for CB3; and Tacumbo Anafalaji of Restoration Corp. (Photo: Jim Vogel)
At the forefront of opportunities at Brooklyn’s western Waterfront: New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (third from right) linked Central Brooklyn community leaders with heads of Brooklyn waterfront industries, last month. Seen here with her, from left, are community development activist Mr. Reginald Swiney; Tremaine Wright, the new chair of Community Board 3 (CB3); Ms. Jacqui Woods, Special Arts Project Manager and chief curator for the Skylight Gallery of Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Mr. Henry Butler, the District Manager for CB3; and Tacumbo Anafalaji of Restoration Corp. (Photo: Jim Vogel)

The speakers cited their experiences and their goals, presented their respective plans for future development, announced their desire to forge new partnerships with the community and described community-based partnerships already in progress. The messages were capped by a stunning prediction of a total combined 800,000 people working in jobs along Brooklyn’s western waterfront areas within several years. Which means for Senator Montgomery, “real jobs for real people”.   She also reminded that despite the bumps and boulders of transportation, affordable housing and other issues,  “there is now a return to industry and commerce” at the waterfront and “real people” seeking a way to make a way, may be able to see a ship coming in at the shoreline.

“Over the last few decades, much of our traditional waterfront industries have almost disappeared: shipping, storage, fishing and more,” Senator Montgomery wrote in her January 16 letter of invitation. “A significant portion (of the waterfront areas) has been given over to housing and parkland. This makes our remaining available waterfronts even more important as potential centers for industry and economic development. This kind of progress can lead to places where homes can be built and a workforce developed.

Sen. Montgomery makes a point, with (L-R, Councilmembers Stephen Levin, Carlos Menchaca and Robert_Cornegy; Marilyn_Gelber; Jeremy Laufer, District Manager CB7.
Sen. Montgomery makes a point, with (L-R, Councilmembers Stephen Levin, Carlos Menchaca and Robert_Cornegy; Marilyn_Gelber; Jeremy Laufer, District Manager CB7.

Adam Friedman of the Pratt Center for Community Development presented the agency’s findings of several studies about industrial and manufacturing “purposing”.  He also suggested to the leaders that there needs to be more purposed messaging or, as this writer understood him to mean, a change in language when they seek new community partnerships.

Since it was reported that entertainment, fashion and culture – not to mention real estate — are the list-toppers for new business growth along the waterfront, it was a pleasure to see in attendance some of Central Brooklyn’s top cultural and trend leaders: Jackie Woods of Restoration’s Skylight Gallery, Brenda Brunson-Bey of the international but locally-based Tribal Truths design and fashion house; and Tremaine Wright, chair of Brooklyn’s powerful Community Board 3, and realtor pioneer Richard Flateau.  These community leaders were proactive at the meeting, asking questions and openly expressed a desire to forge partnerships with the leaders.

The meeting co-sponsors were Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna representing Borough President Eric Adams, and City Council members Stephen Levin, Brad Lander, Laurie Cumbo, Carlos Menchaca, Antonio Reynoso and Robert Cornegy, Jr.  (BG)

 

For more information, visit: www.nysenate.gov/senator/velmanette-montgomery