In Downtown Brooklyn, as Polytechnic University contemplated abandoning its longtime campus, the City looked to new public-private models for center city redevelopment and retaining key institutions and industries. One of the most successful of these efforts was MetroTech, a 4.7 million square foot redevelopment that has been cited for its success by Senator Charles Schumer.
EE&K’s master plan for MetroTech brought together academic and business interests within Downtown’s existing street grid. EE&K’s design established a remarkable set of public environments that, according to the Architectural Guidebook to Brooklyn, “redefined Downtown Brooklyn,” accompanied by a detailed set of guidelines to address street-level treatment, materials, and massing.
At the heart of MetroTech is MetroTech Commons, a 3-1/2 acre oasis of green that serves as both the Polytechnic campus and as a focus for commercial office development. As New York City’s largest privately-owned public space, it has become a venue for festivals, concerts, and graduation ceremonies alike. MetroTech’s success has spurred an additional 1 million square feet of development in Downtown Brooklyn; according to Crain’s, “It is not an exaggeration to say that MetroTech saved the borough’s economy.”
Privately owned public space: the New York City experience, Jerold S. Kayden. New York (N.Y.). Dept. of City Planning, Municipal Art Society of New York
Mixed-use development Handbook, Dean Schwanke, Urban Land Institute. Urban Development/Mixed-Use Council. Executive Group
For more information on Metro Tech, click here.