Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Downtown Brooklyn rebranded: a new website and a sense of expansion, including the arena, Atlantic Yards, and Fort Greene

Forget the old website DBPartnership.org for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. It's all DowntownBrooklyn.com, baby.

It's part of a re-branding to encompass the growth and gentrification of Downtown Brooklyn. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, keep in mind that not everyone agrees with the organization's policies, like Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) and those policies, as detailed in the recent documentary My Brooklyn (returning in March), are driven significantly by major landowners.

And, I'd contend, there's clearly an effort to encompass a somewhat awkward extension to include the Atlantic Yards project--plus pieces of  Fort Greene and Clinton Hill--in a proposed BID (business improvement district).

After all, given that the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is disproportionately influenced--controlled, some would say--by Brooklyn's most powerful developer, Forest City Ratner, anything the DBP does must be evaluated with that in mind.

A recent post on the new website celebrated Write Night at Frank's, a reading series at Frank’s Cocktail Lounge on Fulton Street in Fort Greene. As it happens, Frank's is located on Fulton between Fort Greene Place and South Elliot Place, just outside the Downtown Brooklyn map, below.

But Downtown Brooklyn is an expanding phenomenon, isn't it? (Shh, the only mention of Whitman, Ingersoll, and Farragut public housing projects comes in the list of resident association partners.)

The official account

From Behind the Launch of DowntownBrooklyn.com:
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President, Tucker Reed, said he’s particularly excited about the new website’s potential to positively impact the neighborhood. “It feels great to have created a real service for the community that showcases the diversity that Downtown Brooklyn has to offer.”
Along with drawing attention to the area and the people who live and work here, DowntownBrooklyn.com offers monthly deals to local businesses, and to commemorate the big launch this month, a special “Fly A Friend to Downtown Brooklyn” contest. The promotion was created thanks in large part to American Airlines recently joining the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership Board of Directors. “This is an area that everyone recognizes is booming,” said Patricia Ornst, Managing Director of State and Community Affairs for American Airlines. “My job is to find the niches we can grab onto and promote through them to a young, dynamic neighborhood.”
The part of the website where you find ‘Fly A Friend’ is, as you may have noticed, full of news and interviews from Downtown Brooklyn. That marks a new partnership with the folks at Brooklyn Magazine, who will help provide blog coverage for the website...
That team also includes smartass design, which created the website and its bold new look and logo. “I think of how, around the corner from here there’s a Shake Shack, and above it is some unknown discount vender. You can’t tell the story of Downtown Brooklyn by saying it’s all about the Shake Shack and not mentioning the discount vendor,” said founder Jon Hecht of the stark black-and-white cube design for DowntownBrooklyn.com’s new logo. “The black and white theme addresses that duality, and the cube shape adds dimensionality. The logo isn’t just a flat image, but a physical object that takes up space and has multiple dimensions, angles, and sides to see, and God knows, Downtown Brooklyn has that.”
Indeed, the notion of a Downtown Brooklyn walking tour encompasses Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and the Barclays Center.

Also see Hello Barclays, with an animated video suggesting people visit Fort Greene cultural groups, the Fulton Mall, parks like Fort Greene Park and Brooklyn Bridge park, among other things.



What's next

Under the What's Next section of the web site, the DBP offers a map of current development projects, with a status update. Note how the Atlantic Yards site doesn't quite fit on the map, as with a previous DBP map (bottom).
From the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership web site

Celebrating Downtown Brooklyn

A video released last July counts Downtown Brooklyn as the country's fastest-growing residential downtown, with 15,000 new residents. (Unmentioned is that the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning was aimed to increase office space.)




Previous map
From the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership previous web site

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