Instead of Ratner’s planned 100-story apartment building, the neighborhood is getting eight floors of classrooms and labs

Educational development: City Tech breaks ground on new building Downtown

The Brooklyn Paper
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The New York City College of Technology broke ground last week on an academic building Downtown in the lot where its antiquated Klitgord Auditorium once stood.

The new eight-story facility on Jay Street near Tillary Street is meant to accommodate a growing student body, which officials say has increased by half in the last 12 years.

“We’re far below the recommended ratio of square footage needed to serve that number of students,” said Stephen Soiffer, an assistant to the college president, Russ Hotzler.

The new building will include laboratories, classrooms, offices, health clinics, common areas, a 1,000-seat auditorium, and an 800-seat gym. The school projects that construction will wrap up in spring 2017 — and administrators eager to see the new building go up are not shedding any tears for the old one-story auditorium.

“Klitgord was probably the largest undeveloped footprint in Downtown Brooklyn,” said Soiffer.

That standout feature made the property attractive to mega-developer Bruce Ratner, who once planned to partner with City Tech to build the city’s tallest residential tower, a 100-story skyscraper called Mr. Brooklyn, on the site.

That plan died in the early days of the Great Recession when the school backed out over cost concerns and decided to push ahead on its own.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
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