Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
City officials want to rent or sell part of the largest city-owned office tower in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Municipal Building, in an effort to raise money for the cash-strapped city.
They're seeking proposals from businesses interested in renting or buying up to 37,000 square feet of space on the ground and second floors of the 13-story building, which is located at the corner of Joralemon and Court streets in downtown Brooklyn and near several subway lines.
"I, of course, have a personal favorite that I think would be perfect for this spot," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "Let me just say that this store would be the apple of my eye." An Apple spokesman said the company hasn't announced any plans of opening retail space in the area. Currently, there are no Apple stores in Brooklyn.
Earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg said he wanted to reduce the city's office space footprint by 10 percent over the next four years to save the city $36 million annually. Officials wouldn't say how much of that they expect to come from the Brooklyn property.
"This will be a crowning example of that strategy as we consolidate hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space, turning them back over for usable purposes, renovating the buildings as we do it," said Stephen Goldsmith, the city's Deputy Mayor of Operations.
Monday's move comes as retailers like Barney's Coop and Aeropostale have opened stores in the downtown Brooklyn area.