City to move nearly 500 workers to Downtown Brooklyn

Riders on the B54 bus going to Jay Street/Borough Hall and others in Downtown Brooklyn may soon see an ease in security measures.

At the same time, another 460 workers will soon be coming to the area, giving local businesses a boost.

The two moves are related as The Department of City Planning (DCP) recently approved the Bloomberg administration’s plan to move about 460 Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) employees to the MetroTech Campus.

Under the plan, the city will lease 85,000 square feet at the 10-story 2 MetroTech building.

The building also houses the Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), a subsidiary of the New York Stock Exchange.

However, sources say that SIAC intends to relocate most, if not all, of their backoffice data space to New Jersey when its lease expires in October 2010.

Currently, SIAC pays the MTA and the city money for added security in the area as this data is vital to stock exchange records.

Thus, the move prompted Community Board 2 Chair John Dew to write the DCP to consider the re-routing of the B54 bus.“Prior to the development of the MetroTech office and academic campus, the B54 bus traveled on Myrtle Avenue with its western terminus on Jay Street,” wrote Dew. “When security was increased around 2 MetroTech Center, the B54 was prohibited to use the service road.The bus route was relocated to a circuitous route around MetroTech.”

Dew also noted the security precautions associated with SIAC have prevented the leasing of the first floor of 2 MetroTech for retail use.

“Eliminating the security perimeter around 2 MetroTech Center would also permit the re-opening of several streets in the area, improving circulation,” he wrote.

City Councilmember Stephen Levin, who represents the area, also received the letter and will take the matter up before the Council’s Land Use Committee for review.

“I don’t see anything that would make me opposed to the city’s move, but the community board had some concerns so I thought it was appropriate that the matter goes through a hearing on the city council level,” said Levin.

Both Forest City Ratner and the city refused comment on the move as the deal remains under negotiation.