2003-07-17 / From The Mayor...

From The Mayor’s Desk...

Selling Off Bureaucracy To Save New York City Kids
From The Mayor’s Desk...

From The Mayor’s Desk...

Selling Off Bureaucracy To Save New York City Kids

Last Tuesday, I slapped a "sold" sign on the building located at 110 Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the headquarters of what was the Board of Education for more than 60 years. Like last year’s decision to move the Department of Education to the Tweed Building next to City Hall, selling 110 Livingston sent another powerful message that the old school bureaucracy that served only itself instead of our students is history. In its place, we’re working with parents to build an education system that is open, accountable, and that puts children first — all the things that the previous school structure housed at 110 Livingston was not.

110 Livingston’s designated new owner, Brooklyn-based Two Trees Management, will acquire the building for more than $45 million and convert it into 245 residential condominium units. For the last 20 years, this company has played a leading role in the revival of Downtown Brooklyn. Its comprehensive and forward-thinking redevelopment plan for 110 Livingston will add momentum to that exciting renaissance, and, in the process, generate millions of dollars of much-needed revenue for the city.

Brooklyn residents, and all New Yorkers, will also be able to enjoy a new theater being created through the renovation of the building’s 6,000-square-foot main floor. The theater will be used by a local arts group for a nominal fee, and will be one more star in Brooklyn’s glittering cultural constellation. In addition, the plan for 110 Livingston addresses one of the major concerns in Downtown Brooklyn: parking. 225 below-grade parking spaces will be constructed in the building’s basement and sub-basement.

The sale of 110 Livingston will help us accomplish one of the most important goals of our administration: creating 65,000 units of housing in all five boroughs over the next five years, the largest affordable housing program in a generation. $4.5 million, or 10% of the proceeds generated by the sale of 110 Livingston, will be dedicated to build or renovate affordable housing in Brooklyn. New Yorkers deserve the security that only good homes in safe and stable neighborhoods can provide, and this project will help make that happen.

Selling this property also fits in perfectly with our plan for the overall growth of Downtown Brooklyn. We want to capitalize on this community’s remarkable assets: its great transit network; vibrant academic and cultural resources; strong corporate presence; and attractive residential neighborhoods. The historic sale of 110 Livingston, and its impending transformation means that the notorious Kremlin of the now-defunct Board of Education is no more. From now on, this address will be associated with quality housing in a community whose future couldn’t be brighter.

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