A new technology hub being created in Brooklyn is looking to give Silicon Valley a run for its money. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Bike racks, street clothes and a well stocked kitchen is the work scene at the digital agency HUGE, based in DUMBO. The tech company says it's this environment that helps the creative talent thrive.
"In general it's a relaxed vibe so we have Fresh Direct that comes to us once a week and we make sure we're always stocked with snacks and beer as we work pretty long hours," said HUGE President Shirley Au.
HUGE started in DUMBO in 1999 with just two designers. There are now 400 employees in the Brooklyn office serving clients like Target and Pepsi. In the past two years alone, the company has doubled its revenue and employees and expanded its space in the building. Two-thirds of the staff live in the borough. And the company says Brooklyn is key to its success.
"There's kind of this blend of creative energy as well as really great digital talent and so in many ways it's set us apart from a lot of our competitors," Au said.
Hundreds of tech, creative and digital firms call DUMBO home. Now there's a push to expand on that trend.
"We're looking at spaces immediately in the area to kind of continue this sprawl and fill in the distances between the DUMBO neighborhood, the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Downtown Brooklyn," said Alexandria Sica of the DUMBO Improvement District.
It's being called the Tech Triangle. A new study shows there are already 500 tech companies here generating about 30,000 jobs in Brooklyn. It also predicts those numbers will double by 2015.
"We're going to work together to look at issues like transportation, land use, economic policy, where can we band together and work with government to foster the type of environment where these companies can come and grow," said Tucker Reed of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
The survey finds that Brooklynites make up more than half of the tech work force citywide. It also found that most would prefer to work in the Tech Triangle.
As DUMBO nears capacity, the group is busy shaping up new spaces for startups.