Patchett, head of EDC, to leave post for private sector
Brooklynite was influential on Army Terminal, Armory, other borough projects
New York City Economic Development Corporation President James Patchett on Wednesday announced his plans to leave his influential city post in early March to pursue opportunities in the private sector.
Patchett, according to the EDC website, lives in Crown Heights with his wife and two children and serves on the board of the Prospect Park Alliance.
He has served as president and CEO of EDC since February 2017 after having worked in the Mayor’s Office.
As one of his many accomplishments as head of EDC, he invested in and modernized the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, adding 500,000 square feet of industrial space to help the campus support more than 4,000 jobs, according to an EDC statement.
He also led the structuring of a partnership to create a new offshore wind port at the 72-acre South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, in which wind turbines will be assembled and then shipped to a “wind farm” off Long Island.
In another Brooklyn project, the EDC shepherded the redevelopment of the Bedford-Union Armory into a gym and offices for non-profit groups, with two new apartment buildings nearby containing some affordable housing. The Armory project was supported successfully by Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, although it was opposed by some in the community who believed it would spur gentrification and housing displacement.
Citywide, Patchett oversaw the initial launch and operations of NYC Ferry, which now has 21 ferry stops and connects waterfront communities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. The ferry service is slated to extend to Coney Island this year with a terminus at Kaiser Park, northwest of the amusement area, Some civic leaders oppose this site, preferring a terminus on the ocean side instead.
In a 2018 interview with the Eagle’s Mary Frost, Patchett spoke about some Brooklyn-related developments . He said the area surrounding the Abe Stark skating rink in Coney Island has “tremendous potential for smart development.”
Regarding the Brooklyn Army Terminal, he said that, “Our investments and focused tenanting strategy has turned the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) into a vibrant, growing industrial campus. Today, it’s home to over 100 local businesses and nearly 4,000 jobs.” He also hailed the wind-power project at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, which was already in development at the time.
In addition, he told the Eagle that the Bedford-Union Army redevelopment “will give life to the long-vacant site, which is larger than the White House!’ by bringing in “hundreds of affordable homes, a world-class recreation center and space for local nonprofits online.”
Patchett is a graduate of Amherst College and received an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
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