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The Greenpoint neighborhood of CD #1, in the heart of which NBDC is located, has been undergoing rapid commercial change since the 2005 rezoning of the North Brooklyn waterfront. Along with intensive residential development has been an explosion of new-generation businesses, particularly in the food/drink and clothing retail sectors. Greenpoint’s main commercial corridor, along Manhattan Avenue from Green Street to Driggs Avenue, has a wide mix of ethnic shops and restaurants, longtime family-run businesses, bars and cafes, a few chain stores, and eight banks. Just two blocks from the waterfront, Franklin Street from Noble Street to Freeman Street has recently been repaved and is the neighborhood’s fastest growing strip; it now boasts a variety of bars, cafes, restaurants, clothing boutiques, antique shops and corner markets.
In its nearly 30 years of existence, NBDC has enhanced its ability to fulfill its mission by developing a broad range of working relationships with the local business community, representing its general interests. From this long-standing engagement with the community, NBDC has been able to cultivate close ties with the Pulaski Business and Professional Men’s Association (located in Greenpoint), and has played a leadership role in the development of the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, in previous efforts to form a Business Improvement District, in the creation of the North Brooklyn Business Council, and in facilitating communication between local merchants during the 2000 Manhattan Avenue Street Reconstruction. Most recently, NBDC has collaborated with the national artist-service non-profit Fractured Atlas in the Place / Displaced, a mapping, survey, and oral history project for local artists and cultural producers.
By engaging with local businesses and merchants, NBDC hopes to encourage Greenpoint’s business community to work together to create the conditions for successful economic development. NBDC believes that initiatives such as the New York City Clean Streets Program, the Greenpoint Business Association, and the Greenpoint Business Improvement District will help: a) maintain sanitation and clean streets; b) provide security for merchants and businesses; c) create joint-marketing and advertising opportunities; and d) beautify the neighborhood’s commercial corridors. Collectively, these economic development initiatives will help foster a sense of community among local businesses and merchants.