Presented By: Citrin Cooperman
New York City Is Enjoying an Entrepreneurial Renaissance
NYCEDC’s Andrew Kimball underscores the city’s success in creating new jobs and small businesses and details plans for future development.
When it comes to new jobs and small businesses, New York City is enjoying a boom, adding both at rates that belie any doom and gloom about the state of the city’s economy.
This was the essential message of the latest installment of “Coffee with Citrin Cooperman,” a video series hosted by Citrin Cooperman and produced with Commercial Observer. For this installment, Partner and Regional Real Estate Industry Practice Leader for New York Metro and South Florida at Citrin Cooperman, Meyer Mintz, interviewed President and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Andrew Kimball.
After noting that New York City has gained back almost all of the one million jobs that were lost during the pandemic, Kimball said that reverting to the status quo is not enough.
“The world has changed,” Kimball said. “It’s not good enough just to come back to the economy we had before. We’ve got to build a more vibrant, inclusive, dynamic economy.”
Part of this effort has occurred outside of Manhattan, as a city surge in the development of new businesses has largely taken place in the outer boroughs.
In the last 12 months, one in seven of the businesses in New York City have been created,” said Kimball. “They tend to be very small and startups.”
Kimball noted that many of these businesses have popped up along the waterfronts throughout Brooklyn and Queens, labeling this an “innovation coast” that runs along the East River, and acknowledging that NYCEDC was pivotal in creating conditions, which allowed these businesses to flourish.
Sector-wise, NYCEDC has been especially focused on life sciences and biotech, which have seen “an extraordinary amount of investment” in the city over the past five years.
“We’re up 50 percent in terms of both biotech startups in New York and jobs created in biotech and life sciences,” said Kimball. “We have a billion-dollar plan, which is a combination of capital grant awards, expense awards through grants, and tax incentives to really drive the biotech industry.”
By way of example, Kimball mentioned the Science Park and Research Campus (SPARC) project, a five-acre job and education hub at 25th Street and First Avenue in Kips Bay.
“It was a set of buildings that have been falling down for 20 years,” said Kimball. “The plan when we came into this administration was to take that building down and turn it into a sanitation garage, but we thought we could do better.”
Current plans for the site include facilities for three City University of New York (CUNY) schools: the two-year Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), a new four-year nursing school operated by Hunter College, and CUNY’s graduate-level School of Public Health and Health Policy, which will relocate from its current location in Harlem.
In addition, there will be facilities for a city high school focused on STEM education, plus one million square feet of private biotech space intended to “create pathways for those students into the jobs of the future in healthcare and biotech.”
Kimball also mentioned that, in an effort to develop green jobs, about half a million square feet of the Brooklyn Army Terminal will be built out for a climate innovation hub catering to startup companies doing research and development on topics related to climate science.
Editor’s Note: Since the time of the interview, NYC has regained all jobs lost since the pandemic and set an all-time high in total jobs.