By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Building on DUMBO’s strength in media and all things digital, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials gathered in Brooklyn on Thursday to announce that a state-of-the-art “Made in NY” Media Center will be constructed at 20 Jay Street in DUMBO, overlooking Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The 18,000 square foot media hub will bring together professionals from film, television, advertising, new media, gaming and marketing industries in inexpensive workspaces.
An organization for filmmakers called Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) will develop and operate the center, which will provide offices, educational programs and networking events for creatives and entrepreneurs. It is expected to open in the spring of 2013.
“New York City’s technology and entertainment industries have never been more exciting than they are today, and our new ‘Made in NY’ Media Center will help bring developers, entrepreneurs and artists together to continue their growth,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a statement.
New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky said the investment would help to cement the city’s status “as one of the world's great centers of innovation for generations to come.”
IFP said the media center will provide affordable short term rental work areas, extended rentals for individuals and small firms and start ups, plus post production suites and space for two to three anchor tenants who will be housed in offices at the center. The facility will also feature classrooms, a public café, media arts gallery, lounge, numerous conference rooms and a 98-seat ‘white box’ screening/multimedia room.
In addition, the center will house a media incubator to jump-start innovative projects, a lab to assist aspiring digital marketing producers, and a “Digital Agency Academy” think tank.
The building at 20 Jay Street --a New York City Landmark designed in 1909 by William Higginson for the Arbuckle Brothers, America’s largest coffee roaster -- will be developed by Two Trees Management Co. and designed by Brooklyn-based MESH Architectures.
DUMBO, a magnet for tech, social and media startups, is one third of what is being called Brooklyn’s “Tech Triangle,” along with Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, home to Steiner Studios. Many former warehouses have been converted into warrens of by-the-month rental offices and co-working spaces for the digerati, and public plazas and parks are wired for Wi-Fi.
Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District called the new center “an incredible resource for the hundreds of creative and tech firms in DUMBO and thousands of creators setting up shop in the growing in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.”
Tucker Reed, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership pointed out DUMBO’s connection to the Downtown area. “Downtown Brooklyn is fast becoming a center for creativity, anchored by 57,000 college students, a burgeoning tech sector and flourishing media and design presence, making the borough an ideal location for the ‘Made in New York’ digital media center.” A new Tech Triangle bus route, connecting all three neighborhoods, is in the works.
Also joining the Mayor at the future site of the center were Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assembly Member Millman, IFP executive director Joana Vicente, General Assembly founder Matt Brimer, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Representative Nydia Velazquez, Councilmember Stephen Levin and Carlo A. Scissura, president & CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, among others.
IFP was selected as the developer and operator of the “Made in NY” Media Center after a request for proposals was issued by EDC in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment in March 2012. The Media Center board will be headed by Jon Miller, former Chairman and CEO of News Corporation’s Digital Media Group.