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The Brooklyn skyline has changed dramatically over the years as more and more buildings rise from the earth. This has been especially true downtown ever since a 2004 rezoning paved the way for a development boom that would come to define the internationally-sought after borough.

Brooklyn’s skyline now rivals that of Manhattan, according to Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress.

“Brooklyn is used to having a unique identity. And I think the fact that when you’re driving now in Manhattan and you look at Brooklyn, you see this incredible skyline, that says, the city of Brooklyn is alive and well, and it’s booming,” Scissura told Brooklyn This Week.

The construction boom has been fueled by a workforce, 59 percent of whom are immigrants. Among them is Edgar Almonte from the Dominican Republic. He has a degree in civil engineering and has worked for some of the caribbean country’s largest construction firms. 

He’s been in the United States for about three years now, and has gone from working in the hole on excavation sites to rising to be superintendent of Suffolk. One of his projects with the firm was NYU’s 370 Jay Street building in Downtown Brooklyn.

“I’m sure for the Hispanic community it’s easier to start on low positions, and then if you have what’s required, of course, you’ll start grinding and the higher-ups will see,” Almonte said. “It will take a while to put in the hours, to put in the effort, to work with passion. That’s what I believe.”

Our host Lawrence Madsen is a native New Yorker. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. in History. He is a volunteer leader with the disaster relief group Team Rubicon.

Published on

Oct 3, 2019 by New York Building Congress