Brooklyn Boro

LISTEN: Inside Brooklyn’s development boom

What it takes to construct a building

October 3, 2019 Brooklyn Eagle Podcast
The Downtown Brooklyn skyline. Eagle file photo by Paul Frangipane
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Brooklyn’s skyline now rivals that of Manhattan, according to Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress.

“Brooklyn is used to having a unique identity. And I think the fact that when you’re driving now in Manhattan and you look at Brooklyn, you see this incredible skyline, that says, the city of Brooklyn is alive and well, and it’s booming,” Scissura told Brooklyn This Week.

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The construction boom has been fueled by a workforce, 59 percent of whom are immigrants. Among them is Edgar Almonte from the Dominican Republic. He has a degree in civil engineering and has worked for some of the caribbean country’s largest construction firms. 

Related: LISTEN: Are downtown’s towers a burden on Brooklyn?

He’s been in the United States for about three years now, and has gone from working in the hole on excavation sites to rising to be superintendent of Suffolk. One of his projects with the firm was NYU’s 370 Jay Street building in Downtown Brooklyn.

“I’m sure for the Hispanic community it’s easier to start on low positions, and then if you have what’s required, of course, you’ll start grinding and the higher-ups will see,” Almonte said. “It will take a while to put in the hours, to put in the effort, to work with passion. That’s what I believe.”

To hear Almonte’s story and to find out what it takes to build our borough, listen to the full episode above. 

  • Interview with Aaron Lemma and Damien Ramos at 1:56
  • Interview with Edgar Almonte at 7:39
  • Interview with Carlo Scissura at 12:25

Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in History. He is a volunteer leader with the disaster relief group Team Rubicon.

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