New Plan Floats Large Observation Balloon to Attract Techies to Brooklyn

By Janet Upadhye | June 18, 2013 2:17pm
 The Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition unveiled a plan to make Brooklyn more attractive for tech companies.
Brooklyn Tech Triangle Strategic Plan
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Tech Triangle — covering Downtown Brooklyn, Navy Yard and DUMBO — has gone on the offensive to beat Silicon Valley for the title of tech capital of the nation.

To draw technology firms to Brooklyn, a master plan unveiled Tuesday proposes a tethered helium observation balloon called Brooklyn Rising that would ascend 600 feet in the air and giving 30 riders expansive views, along with the city's first-ever vertical dog run using slopes and ramps under the BQE.

The plan was conceived by a coalition of architecture, construction, engineering and policy firms led by WXY Architecture + Urban Design.

“This is an activation plan for the 21st century and a blueprint for ensuring that the surrounding communities can benefit from the economic opportunities emerging in the Tech Triangle and that innovation economy businesses can find the space to grow,” said Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation in a statement.

The coalition hopes to add offices for technology businesses in the Watchtower at Sands Street, Empire Stores in DUMBO, government-owned and occupied buildings in Cadman Plaza and buildings along the Fulton Street Mall.

The plan outlines ideas to increase transportation in the triangle by extending the B67 and B24 bus lines, creating new bike corridors and ferry landings and designing a new F train entrance on Jay Street.

And last, the coalition hopes to develop a cohesive greenway dubbed the Brooklyn Strand that would have "the buzz of Madison Square Park and the elegance of a Parisian promenade."

The Strand, planned for the area that is currently Cadman Plaza and Columbus Park, will have ornamental gardens, urban porch swings, cafes and expansive lawns for techies to eat their lunch.

Some of the projects require additional funding and city approval.