Adams launches new jobs initiative with Brooklyn development

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Mayor Eric Adams launches new jobs initiative in East New York by breaking ground on new development. April 6, 2022.
Photo By Ethan Stark-Miller

In the latest move to advance his COVID-19 economic recovery plan, Mayor Eric Adams broke ground Wednesday on a new Brooklyn commercial development that’ll eventually be home to city Department of Social Services offices, which he said will bring over 1,100 jobs to the area.

The mayor said this is the first phase of his “City Agencies Revitalizing the Economy” or (CARE) strategy to create jobs by bringing city agency offices to underserved communities across the city.

“When I outlined my economic recovery blueprint last month, I spoke about not going back to the way things were before the pandemic — and that is what this strategy and this groundbreaking are all about,” Adams said during the April 6 ceremony in East New York. “We are building a more inclusive economy that works for all New Yorkers, in every neighborhood and every borough, and city government is leading the way.”

Also in attendance were Councilwoman Sandy Nurse, Economic Development Corporation COE Andrew Kimball and Bill Wilkins of the Local Development Corporation of East New York.

The project – which will be developed by the Lesser Group – will be central to the East New York area as it’s right across the street from the Broadway Junction subway station, a hub where several train lines and the Long Island Rail Road converge. In addition to hosting offices for the DSS’ Human Resources Administration (HRA), the development will also be home to private commercial tenants – including new retail space along Fulton and Herkimer Streets.

This is only the first phase of the new initiative, Kimball said. The city is already reviewing proposals to develop similar sites in Queens and the Bronx.

“The CARE strategy is an innovative solution to support new development in underserved areas across the city and is a key component of Mayor Adams’ blueprint for the city’s economic recovery,” Kimball said. “Today’s groundbreaking is just the beginning of utilizing city offices to create new commercial centers —bringing quality jobs, services, and amenities to neighborhoods across the city.”

While Nurse was there to support the project, she did raise concerns about its potential to drive out lower-income homeowners in the area. She said this could add to the devastation the community has experienced from redlining, racial discrimination and government divestment over the past few decades.

“A building like this, while it is filling a need, an important need, and it will bring a lot of jobs here, with as many people as it intends to host, becomes a very serious responsibility and commitment. And I very much plan to be the accountability partner for this project,” Nurse said. “A lot of people are feeling the pressure to sell and this building is only going to increase it. So, we need to really work together, I’m ready, I’m willing, I’m able to work with the partners here and the administration, to really ensure that we protect the small homeowners, the tenants, the small business owners in this area and put our money where our values are.”