Friday, January 31, 2014

Forest City Ratner and Makerbot: New Overlords of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership announced on Thursday that "one of the most prominent female real estate executives in America," MaryAnne Gilmartin, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), and MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis, will serve as the new co-chairs of the organization’s Board of Directors.

MaryAnne and Bre together replace Alan Fishman, the organization’s Board Chair since it was founded in 2006. Robert Catell, who also served as a co-chair of the organization, retired from the position in 2012.

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed said in the press release, “When the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership launched in 2006, Downtown Brooklyn looked, felt and served a very different role than today . . . Nothing reflects innovation more than Bre’s ingenious MakerBot 3D Printing Ecosystem and there’s no better example of a prominent CEO and company dedicated to innovation and to the continued success of the Downtown Brooklyn area than MaryAnne and Forest City Ratner Companies.”

MakerBot has offices in MetroTech, a development of FCRC. MetroTech is also home to the  Polytechnic School of Engineering, which celebrated its merger Thursday with NYU, and more than 40 companies employing more than 18,000 workers.

An area-wide rezoning has ushered in more than 8,200 residential units in some 60 residential towers in the past decade, with thousands more units coming online soon. The area is also home to nearly 50 cultural organizations and eleven universities and colleges attended by 60,000 students.

This growth will be stymied, however, if Downtown Brooklyn loses Long Island College Hospital (LICH), which SUNY Downstate is trying to close despite a terrific battle by local residents, businesses and officials.

“Downtown Brooklyn is the envy of downtowns across America and has helped put the borough on the map,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who has sponsored a bill seeking to shift money from the sale of LICH to areas he used to represent before he became BP of the entire borough.

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