Principle, co-founder, Totem
Jul 13, 2021
As president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership from 2012-2016, Tucker Reed took a formerly dysfunctional non-profit business improvement district and made it function. Under his watch, more than 10,000 apartments were either built or planned in Downtown Brooklyn, hitherto unheard of for the third largest central business district in New York City. Historically a commercial and civic center, Downtown Brooklyn’s ongoing reinvention was made possible by a 2004 rezoning plan that made way for denser residential development—and not a little gentrification. It was under Reed’s guidance that the district began to take shape.
Reed left the Partnership in 2016 and co-founded Totem, a Brooklyn-based development firm. His team has acquired a 20,000-square-foot low-rise site on Fourth Avenue in Greenwood Heights (currently home to a Dunkin’ Donuts). In April, Totem received the city’s green light for its not-completely-uncontroversial plan to build a 14-story mixed-use complex comprising retail space and housing, with “nearly 40 permanently affordable apartments” pledged.
And, just last week, Community Board 3 approved Totem’s also-not-uncontroversial plans to build a new 17-story, fully-electric building at 1045 Atlantic Avenue, between Franklin and Classon Avenues.
Reed is a graduate of Wesleyan, where his freshman dorm roommate was Lin-Manuel Miranda. Despite appearing in Miranda’s directorial debut there, Reed would start his career in development as the founding executive director of the DUMBO Improvement District. After two years, he would ship off to Iraq in 2008 to serve as chief of staff of the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team. There, he helped build schools and roads, set up a fire department and rebuilt the sanitation system—all apparently excellent training for the battleground of Brooklyn real estate.