New York’s economic future will hinge on live work centers: EDC CEO Andrew Kimball

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“We have to be smart in neighborhoods like Downtown“, said Kimball.

In 2019, the average commute in the city was 32 minutes each way, according to data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Bringing more jobs closer to where people live could solve the hassle of hybrid working and the city’s future transit crisis, should the population top 8.5 million, toward 10 million, forecasters say. had already predicted. Kimball said a “new” New York panel, chaired by Robin Hood CEO Richard Buery and Daniel Doctoroff, former deputy mayor under Michael Bloomberg, would lay the groundwork for business district housing plans in the coming weeks.

One of the biggest upcoming projects is the second phase of the Willets Point Redevelopment, announced this week. The 23-acre project includes a privately funded 25,000-seat football stadium, 2,500 affordable housing units in seven buildings and a 250-room hotel. Private investors are investing $1 billion in the plan, including $780 million from New York City Football Club for the stadium and a third for the hotel. The city owns the land; the football team will rent it to the football team and a group of developers.

Kimball, the longtime CEO of Industry City, who became CEO of the nonprofit in February, addressed a wide range of other economic development priorities, including:

  • Increase the number of manufacturing jobs in various technology sectors, including the development of microchips, to support the Micron semiconductor plant in upstatelife sciences, public health and “green jobs”, including in the offshore wind industry, as tens of thousands of wind turbines will be installed offshore in the coming years.
  • Supporting the city’s tech economy even amid the wave of layoffs. “I’m optimistic about great technology here. . . . That’s where the talent wants to be,” Kimball said. He nuanced his optimism with the caveat that there could be a “reset” in the tech workforce but it could resume its ascent.
  • Why Kathy Hochul’s election as governor bodes well for the city. Having a Democratic federal administration, in addition to Democrats in state and local offices, will virtually guarantee a steady stream of investment in city priorities, including Manhattan’s first science park and research campus, which required a collaboration between levels of government. “We have a federal government that is pumping money into local economic opportunities,” he said.
  • Develop the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a useful space for the region and the city. “If anyone has any ideas, come see us,” he told the audience.
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