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Domination By Cool Downtowns

Author: Christopher Kelly  of Tritec Real Estate Company, Inc.      3/7/17

After decades of decline Brooklyn began a renaissance around the turn of the century that included lowering crime, revitalizing neighborhoods and developing multi-family properties. The borough attracts people from all over the world and rivals Manhattan as one of the coolest places to live. The Brooklyn renaissance has not escaped the eye of the commercial real estate community. The hottest segment in the office market right now is the technology sector, and it seems natural that it gravitates toward the coolest place to live which attracts and keeps a talented workforce.

TAMI (technology, advertising, media, and information) tenants have challenged the FIRE (Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate) companies as the largest number of private sector space users in the city.  Brooklyn’s live-work lifestyle firms are choosing to populate reclaimed factories, shared workspaces, incubators, and non-traditional office buildings. The TAMI community participates in local programming and civic engagement.  Tech companies have founded and supported Brooklyn neighborhood-centric events; like the DUMBO Arts Festival and World Science Festival’s Innovation Square in the MetroTech Commons all contributing to the renaissance of Brooklyn.

Employers are drawn to Brooklyn because:

•    Great employee base •    Ease of Access •    Nontraditional office spaces •    Lower Rent

Long Island is at the beginning of a renaissance as well. Many of Long Island’s downtown’s are becoming relevant again. Municipalities are trying to work with developers to find projects that meet the demands of changing demographics. While Long Island’s downtown’s are not nearly as dense and sprawling as Brooklyn (and maintaining Long Island’s identity is key), one can draw parallels between Brooklyn’s redevelopment and what is going on right now on Long Island.

The MTA and the LIRR are in the process of constructing a second track to Ronkonkoma Train Station and are in the beginning stages of a 3rd track to Hicksville. Downtowns like Mineola, Farmingdale, and Patchogue have built projects around the train station and are becoming the cool places to live, work and play on Long Island.  And places like Port Jefferson, Lindenhurst, Amityville and Ronkonkoma are not far behind. Housing in the downtowns would be more affordable than the traditional Long Island single-family home and more desirable to young adults and empty nesters who, in study after study, express an interest in more walkable communities. It would help foster economic growth and create more jobs in our economy by simply better utilizing and improving the infrastructure we have.

Long Island has some of the nation’s best k-12 school districts with 12 of the top 50 high schools in New York State. World class universities like Stony Brook which ranks in the Top 100 in the 20176 edition of Best Colleges for National Universities and ranks # 42 in Top Public Schools in the country.  Long Island is also home to Brookhaven and Cold Spring Harbor National Labs where cutting edge research occurs daily. With unparalleled natural amenities, a talented and well-educated labor pool, proximity and access to New York City, and desirable housing options, could Long Island be the next place that TAMI companies are looking for?

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