October 8, 2018

Regina Myer Is the Urban Planner With Big Designs for Downtown Brooklyn

Commercial Observer

From a conference room in the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s offices on the 10th floor of 1 MetroTech Center, Regina Myer glances out the window. Across the street, unmistakable purple flags signify New York University’s presence at 370 Jay Street, where NYU has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into repurposing the former New York City Transit Authority headquarters into a 500,000-square-foot campus building dedicated to its engineering, applied sciences, technology and media arts programs.

For Myer—who became the president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) in November 2016, after a nearly three-decade career in the realm of urban planning and development—NYU’s investment is emblematic of the sort of commercial ecosystem that she and her organization are aiming to foster in Downtown Brooklyn: one where cutting-edge, tech- and media-focused companies are drawn to a deep pool of young, educated talent in deciding to set up shop in the city’s third-largest central business district.

“We have a changing office environment; Downtown Brooklyn had really previously been dominated by government and back-office uses,” Myer noted. But through initiatives like the Brooklyn Tech Triangle—a partnership between the DBP, the Dumbo Improvement District and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. formed to bring technology, media and creative companies to Brooklyn—Myer’s organization has “worked really hard to market Downtown Brooklyn as a place for innovation,” she said.

Chairing the board is Ofer Cohen, the founder and CEO of Brooklyn-focused commercial real estate brokerage TerraCRG. Cohen, who replaced L&L MAG CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin in the role this past summer, said he and Myer have the shared priority of furthering Downtown Brooklyn’s transformation into an office destination that can compete with any other submarket in the city.

“We need to take advantage of the amazing human capital in Brooklyn and make this place ultra-competitive as a business destination,” Cohen said. “In order to do that we have to put the private-public partnership engine to work, because none of that stuff can happen without that cooperation.”

Cohen called it a “privilege” to work with Myer on advancing that vision at the DBP. “We’re so fortunate to have someone like her at the helm,” he noted. “It’s one thing to have a vision, but it’s a different thing to have someone who can execute that vision. She knows how to get things done.”

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