In this episode of HeyBK, Ofer sits down with Chad Dickerson, the former CEO of Etsy, a multibillion-dollar online marketplace for handcrafted goods based in DUMBO. Chad left Silicon Valley for the young startup in 2008 and led the company - through many hurtles - to become one of NYC’s greatest Tech success stories.
On this episode of HeyBK, we journey to South Brooklyn to one of the most famous places in the world – Coney Island. Ofer Cohen speaks with Dick Zigun, the “unelected mayor” of Coney Island, a playwright, a circus fanatic, and the creator and leader of the annual Mermaid Parade. Dick has spent decades advocating for this unique pocket of NYC and its great potential which has not come without its own course of challenges and interesting events.
In this episode of HeyBK, Ofer sits down with Susan Feldman, the Artistic Director of St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The program’s trajectory is closely linked with Brooklyn’s resurgence. St. Ann’s relationship with Brooklyn as a place and Real Estate as a business is a great model for activating neighborhoods while supporting the arts. Over 35 years later, and not without a struggle, St Ann’s moved to its permanent, very special home on the DUMBO waterfront.
HeyBK host Ofer Cohen speaks with Jared Della Valle & AJ Pires, the founders of Alloy, LLC, a DUMBO-based development and architecture firm. Jared and AJ explain how meeting through a mutual friend turned into a life-long friendship, successful business, and a true Brooklyn story. Their joint passion and ideas about responsible development, keen architecture, open lines of communication, and love for the neighborhood of DUMBO have played a key role in their accomplishments.
On this episode of HeyBK, Ofer speaks with Andrew Kimball, the CEO of Industry City. Since taking over in 2013, Andrew and his partners transformed the largest industrial complex in NYC into a renowned creativity and innovation hub. Andrew gives us the scoop on what it takes to run such a huge transformation project, how sometimes new opportunities take priority over initial strategic plans, the challenges of managing such a massive space, as well as many of the rewarding moments that come with such a demanding project.
Ofer sits down with Jed Walentas, the real estate developer behind the transformation of DUMBO, one of the most desirable neighborhoods in New York City. In the mid-90’s, Jed became involved in his family business, Two Trees, and spearheaded the transformation of the area. In their conversation, Jed talks about growing up in a grittier NYC where DUMBO was not merely as exciting as it is today, discovering what it meant for his father to “own a neighborhood,” and about his own parenting experience.
In this episode, Ofer sits down with Karen Auster, a key force behind the new Brooklyn experience. During the past two decades, Karen’s Dumbo-based marketing firm, Auster Agency, has helped launch some of Brooklyn’s most exciting projects, including Brooklyn Bridge Park, 1 Hotel, the new Atlantic Antic and now Domino Park. Karen fell in love with Brooklyn after having an ice cream in Brooklyn Heights but it was her role as a mom that helped her find find her path.
Eran Chen, Founder of ODA Architecture, speaks with Ofer Cohen about his big dreams as a young student in Israel, to becoming one of NYC’s most renowned architects with an expanding international clientele. Beginning his career designing McDonald’s restaurants, to eventually starting O.P.E.N and creating a mega-museum of street art, he believed that he could bring new architectural perspective to Brooklyn.
Born and bred Brooklynite, Dave Maundrell, chats with Ofer Cohen about growing up in Williamsburg and witnessing, first-hand, the changes throughout Brooklyn over the last two decades. Dave has great respect for the history of the neighborhood. He’s watched it evolve from its industrial and gang-ridden past in the 70s and 80s, to an artist driven hub in the 90’s, and to what is now a vibrant artful, family-oriented and high-end residential haven.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams discusses his concerns, goals and vision for the ever-changing communities throughout Brooklyn. A born and bred Brooklynite, Eric Adams started his career as a police officer, serving 22 years on the force. He began his political career as a State Senator representing Brooklyn districts. To say Adams has experienced the transformation of Brooklyn first-hand would be an understatement.
Hey BK is the podcast about the people behind the Brooklyn transformation.
Ofer Cohen, Founder and CEO of TerraCRG, has conversations with guests about their vision and love for this place, and the steps and obstacles it took to leave their footprint on the heart of Brooklyn.