Bay Ridge

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s 100 Year Plan includes cyber hub at Fort Hamilton

February 14, 2018 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce has proposed putting a cyber-security response center on the grounds of the U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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The U.S. Army Garrison at Fort Hamilton could become a hub of technology and innovation if a proposal by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce (BCC) eventually becomes reality.

BCC, which celebrated its 100 anniversary with a gala dinner at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge on Feb. 10, recently released a comprehensive report called “The Next 100 Years,” to present ideas on how to help Brooklyn grow and proper over the next century.

One of the proposals involves establishing Fort Hamilton as a cybersecurity response center.

The fort, which was built in 1825 and is located in Bay Ridge, is the only active military post in New York City.

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BCC envisions setting up a technology hub on a portion of the Army base, but only if land could be made available for that purpose.

“Cybersecurity is a strong growth industry within the innovation economy, and has been identified as a potential business attraction opportunity by the city due to its strengths and experience in counterterrorism. The city should foster more cybersecurity businesses by helping to anchor a new cybersecurity and emergency response innovation complex, potentially occupying a portion of the Fort Hamilton if space is available within that facility,” the report reads.

BCC President and CEO Andrew Hoan told reporter Will Bredderman in an interview in Crain’s New York Business that New York City has a history of converting former federal land into alternative uses. Hoan cited the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Brooklyn Navy Yard as examples that trend. 

Fort Hamilton would fit in with an overall concept to retrofit the East River coast of Brooklyn as Brooklyn’s Innovation Coast, according to BCC.

“Brooklyn’s East River waterfront from Greenpoint to Fort Hamilton is a home for innovation, strengthened with new commercial space and integrated with the surrounding neighborhoods by a new linear park under the BQE,” the report reads, identifying the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

“Once dominated by industrial and maritime uses, Brooklyn’s East River coast, from Williamsburg to Sunset Park, is undergoing significant change. Further business attraction and neighborhood vibrancy can be fostered via investment in a linear ecosystem of commercial space for every stage of business, anchor institutions, vibrant mixed-used neighborhoods and cultural assets along Brooklyn’s Innovation Coast. While these sites have been isolated from the borough by the BQE’s physical footprint, a new open space network under and over the highway will connect the waterfront and provide linkages to adjacent neighborhoods,” BCC wrote in its report.

“The Next 100 Years” also includes other proposals to strengthen communities all across Brooklyn, including an idea to bring a culinary training program to Coney Island.

The plan would involve having Kingsborough Community College and its Kitchen Ventures Incubator Program set up shop in Coney Island.

BCC also proposes developing a new commercial-education center at near the transit hub of East New York, were the A, C, J, L, M and Z subway lines and the Long Island Railroad meet.

Under the proposal, the State University of New York or City University of New York would open a new campus in East New York.

Transportation is going to be a major development in Brooklyn during the next several years, according to BCC, which pointed to the proposals for a Brooklyn-Queens Connector light rail service, an extension of No. 1 train service in subway-starved Red Hook and an extension of the No. 4 subway line as interesting ideas.

But Crain’s reported that BCC also advocates re-examining a 22-year-old proposal put forth by the Regional Plan Association to establish a train line called the Triborough RX that would run from the Bay Ridge Rail Road Yards to Brooklyn College, East New York, Queens and ending at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.


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