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Reed all about it! Tucker to head D’town Partnership

The Brooklyn Paper
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There’s a new man in charge of Downtown’s future, and he’s a civic-minded entrepreneur who wired all of DUMBO with Wi-Fi, revamped the neighborhood’s historic streets — and even reconstructed Baghdad for the State Department.

On Tuesday, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership announced that Tucker Reed — currently a director at DUMBO’s development titan, Two Trees Management — would be the new president of the quasi-governmental group beginning on Jan. 9.

Local pols, co-workers, and friends welcomed the news, calling Reed a “dedicated public servant.”

“Tucker has more energy and enthusiasm than anyone I’ve ever met, and that’s something that Downtown Brooklyn could always use,” said Alexandria Sica, executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District.

The hiring of Reed ends a two-month search to replace former president Joe Chan, who left his $220,000-a-year job in October to join the Empire State Development Corporation.

“I could not be more excited to be helping to support the creative forces that will shape the future of the borough,” Reed said in a statement. He declined an interview with Brooklyn’s paper of record.

For the past year, the 31-year-old has been special projects director for mega-development firm Two Trees — jump-starting the effort to make DUMBO the city’s first all-wireless neighborhood.

In 2008, the State Department tapped Reed — a former National Guardsman — for an important and unenviable rebuilding job in Baghdad.

“I don’t want to get on my soapbox, but it makes me sick to see our standing in the world diminished by what happened in Iraq,” he told The Brooklyn Paper at the time. “If I can play one small role in changing that, I have to do it.”

He was also the founding executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District, where he secured funding for a major street reconstruction project, converted a parking lot into the Pearl Street Triangle public space, and encouraged the city to cover some neighborhood eyesores with public art. He also ran wacky initiatives such as installing solar-powered holiday lights.

Jed Walentas, a principal at Two Trees, said that Reed strives to “make places like Downtown better.”

“It’s what he spends all his free time doing, it’s what he cares about,” Walentas said. “I think he likes to be in a more public place than just working for a real-estate developer.”

Now Reed will oversee the six-year-old Downtown group’s $6.7-million budget, implement major development projects and manage three business improvement districts.

He’ll also face his share of critics, who’ve accused the partnership of prioritizing expensive developments like CityPoint over affordable housing and small businesses.

A local advocacy group for low-income people wrote a letter to the partnership last month pushing for community participation in the selection for Chan’s replacement.

“Chan was dismissive of lot of players in community,” said Lucas Shapiro, a senior organizer with Families United for Racial & Economic Equality. “This is a chance for Reed to make a name for himself by being much more welcoming of public participation. The ball’s in his court.”

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.
Updated 5:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Johnny from Downtown says:
Look at that, Joe Chan, who Bloomberg appointed to be "Brooklyn's Development Czar," is replaced by a guy who works for a developer! Hold onto your land deeds, everybody!
Dec. 14, 2011, 8:22 am
Judahspechal from Bedstuy says:
Very interesting indeed. One can see city planners vision for the mall because of the new Residents with higher income plus more to come. The hope is for balance. The Mall have been a destination for many. They kept it Alive when most businesses gave up. Livingston St is so dead, a serious upgrade would be sweet. But please keep in mind those who currently makes up the majority of foot traffic .
Dec. 14, 2011, 9:22 am
mike from downtown says:
tucker reed has the energy and vision and knows how to execute, this is great news for downtown brooklyn.
Dec. 14, 2011, 10:36 am
Celina from Fort Greene says:
For critical background info regarding the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership's poor track record and the appointment of Tucker Reed as its new president, please click here: http://furee.org/news/furee-new-dtown-bk-partnership-prez-its-time-fair-development

-Families United for Racial & Economic Equality (FUREE)
Dec. 14, 2011, 1 pm
Babs says:
Celina, I read the letter from the partnership and I thought it was a reasonable reply. After all, did FUREE offer to let real estate interests help your group pick its next leader?

Did you submit any names? What about Lincoln Restler? Anyone else out there that is sympathetic to FUREE's concerns but still able to do the job?
Dec. 14, 2011, 5:18 pm
Furtgo from Fort Greene says:
In what neighborhood did he grow up?
Dec. 14, 2011, 5:32 pm
Celina from Fort Greene says:
To Babs:

There's a big difference. The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership--and the real estate interests it represents--are making use of hundreds of millions in tax-payer funds. The Comptroller's audit of the DBP even slammed it for misuse of funds and shoddy record keeping. Sounds to me like a group that could use more oversight to me.

Apart from that, the DBP is also responsible for orchestrating a profound transformation of the area, with many victims in its wake. Why not give the people directly impacted by their decisions a seat at the table?

Lastly, if local elected officials and an organization that represents hundreds of low-income families in the area writes you a letter with specific requests, wouldn't it be a sign of respect to actually respond to those requests, even if you disagree with them?
Dec. 15, 2011, 2:16 pm

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