Della Valle continues to give back to his profession through teaching and lecturing engagements for the American Institute of Architects, and the architecture and development programs at institutions that include Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Syracuse universities. He has hired several Lehigh architecture graduates over the years.
A Changing Landscape
Della Valle is contributing to Brooklyn’s changing landscape–from a former gritty industrial center to a thriving neighborhood with tech jobs, high-end shops, restaurants and housing.
“We are proud of our work, and it’s work that’s enduring,” he says. “It has a 100-year-lifespan or more.”
Downtown Brooklyn is the third-largest business district in New York City. It is located in the Northwest section of the borough, an area along New York’s East River and bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Tillary Street, Camden Plaza and Atlantic Avenue.
The downtown is home to Borough Hall, the Brooklyn Municipal Building and several other civic offices, but its reputation for being all about business began to shift in 2004 when rezoning allowed for more residential construction. Those residents began seeking out more retail and restaurant options, along with schools and family-friendly activities. Over time, the downtown has transformed from its industrial past to a mixed-use area known for its upscale housing, restaurants and tech businesses.
According to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a nonprofit, more than 12,700 housing units have been added to the downtown between 2016 and 2022, and another 8,900 are planned for the future.
“I’ve seen a lot of high-rise developments, but I think this one is unique because of the tremendous mix of uses it includes,” says Regina Myer, president of the partnership.
One of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s goals is for the area to become much more pedestrian friendly. Della Valle’s latest project accomplishes just that, Myer says.
“There are several spaces where they will widen the sidewalks to provide more space for walking and a new plaza that is taking the place of a roadway,” she says. “Jared has an incredible vision for urban development, but he’s also a really great listener and is willing to be responsive to the community and other people’s ideas.”
Della Valle fell in love with the site for its proximity to a major transportation hub and entertainment centers.
“We were enamored, but it took us four to five years to assemble the entire block,” he says. “We weren’t originally anticipating that we would build a million square feet here.”
It Started With a School
Jennifer Maldonado, chief executive officer of New York City’s Educational Construction Fund, first met Della Valle in 2016 when her organization put out a request for bids to rebuild the Khalil Gibran International Academy and develop a mixed-use parcel including office space, retail and housing.