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Growth In Downtown Brooklyn Strong Despite Weak Citywide Growth

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TWC News: Growth In Downtown Brooklyn Strong Despite Weak Citywide Growth
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As New York's economy attempts to bounce back in fits and starts, at least one area of the city is thriving: downtown Brooklyn. A new report from the state comptroller shows that parts of Brooklyn grew, even as citywide job growth was weak. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

Brooklyn is on the move. Not only has it secured its spot as the hipster borough of choice, new data now shows it's more than just reputation that is making Brooklyn thrive.

"A lot of people are coming out here and there is a lot of interesting stuff going on but its not completely commercialized, like a Times Square or something like that," said one resident.

A new report from State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli shows that perceptions of a revitalized Brooklyn are well-deserved. Private sector jobs and wages grew in greater downtown Brooklyn faster than the rest of the city. That's due in part to tech company startups.

According to the report, between 2003 and 2010, private sector employment grew 18.3 percent as the area's median income rose by 40 percent.

"It hasn't happened overnight," DiNapoli said. "You go back a couple of decades ago, it was a different story. But so much of what's been invested here has been coming together. Now, we need to take it to the next level."

The greater downtown Brooklyn area covered in the report includes the traditional area of downtown near Flatbush Avenue. But it also extends to Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, Vinegar Hill and Fort Greene.

The revitalization is anchored by cultural institutions like the Brooklyn Academy of Music, which is expanding its reach, as well as the new Barclays Center, which will house Brooklyn's first professional sports franchise since 1957.

"Any of you who support the Manhattan Knicks after November 1, you are committing treason," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I'm letting you know. Back in the day, if you supported the Yankees, you'd be outta here."

Downtown has also added 15,000 residents with new housing.

"Residential all across the city is in great shape," said Alan Fishman with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. "We've had tremendous growth in residential here. The brownstone communities have never been in a better shape. The new residential towers in Brooklyn seem to be filling up very rapidly."

There is a different feel in downtown Brooklyn than there was even just a few years ago. The hope is that this report is just a snapshot, that the area will continue to grow as more and more people come to live and work here.

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