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Photo courtesy of Industry City
Photo courtesy of Industry City
A look back at the growing year at Industry City.

It has been another year of significant growth for Industry City (IC), with more on the way. Whether it’s expanded dining options, or the opening of a lab for veterans, businesses, and companies, everyone is clamoring to operate their business at the six-million-square-foot collection of warehouse structures situated on the waterfront.

IC includes 16 buildings, 35 acres and over 450 companies. According to IC, the Jamestown, Belvedere Capital and Angelo Gordon & Co.-owned property has invested over $250 million.

On-site employment has grown by an average of 100 jobs per month—from 1,900 jobs in 2013 to more than 6,500 jobs today, says IC.

This past November, IC cut the ribbon on its newest facility, the Veterans Future Lab, a state-of-the-art facility from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering that provides support to start-up companies founded by United States military veterans.

“This is another piece of building the ecosystem around innovation and manufacturing, and we are delighted to have NYU Tandon embedded in the Industry City campus,” President and CEO of IC Andrew Kimball told this paper at the time, adding that the new facility will benefit many Sunset residents. “The equipment that they have here is not just going to be available to veteran entrepreneurs, but also Industry City tenants to come and use. They’re going to run important programming with the local community, particular local schools, in terms of creating access to this equipment as well.”

NYU Tandon offers a full scholarships to veterans who enroll in “A Bridge to Tandon,” a program that prepares those with non-engineering degrees for master’s degrees in select fields.

More than 1,000 Sunset Park area residents have benefited from services offered at Innovation Lab, an on-site job training, placement and entrepreneur support center.

Also on the business side, AbelCine, an audio-visual store that provides products and services to production, broadcast and new media industries, completed its move to the Sunset Park waterfront, after announcing in 2016 that it would be relocating there.

The company, founded in 1989, touts itself as making technology easier for production personnel and content creators to understand, access and employ. It announced on Tuesday, January 16 that it had moved over 85 employees from its previous home in Manhattan to 44,000 square feet of space within Industry City at 88 35th Street.

AbelCine claims the move will help expand its services to meet the needs of people working in all levels of the rapidly changing media industry.

“At AbelCine, we support filmmakers and content producers in all their creative and business endeavors. We do this by offering a range of services focused on gear, support and learning,” said Pete Abel, CEO of AbelCine. “This combination of technology, innovation and creativity is also central to Industry City. With a healthy mix of artists, designers, media producers and makers, we immediately recognized that IC was our natural home.”

And, in the area of interior decor, ABC Carpet & Home moved to 3902 Second Avenue late last year.

The family-owned business has deep roots in the borough, said CEO and Creative Director of ABC Paulette Cole. “It’s a coming home to Brooklyn,” she told this paper. “Everyone in my family was born in Brooklyn and I feel like this is an opportunity to creatively unite New York and also elevate in terms of conscious sourcing and beauty, wellness, wisdom and love. We’re here to allow people to use ABC as a tool for their art and individuality.”

Michael Phillips, president of Jamestown, a partner of Industry City, also expressed his excitement about the addition to the 16-building, six-million-square-foot manufacturing and innovation complex.

“Paulette and I grew up together in the home furnishings business and she’s been one of the great inspirations to me in my career so to have her come to Industry City is the biggest thing I can think of and I think the collaboration in this community and the mission-based company ethos they bring is really compatible with what we’re about,” he said.

The various faces of the food industry are also on display at IC.

Brooklyn Kitchen, a company founded in 2006 with the goal of helping people burnish their cooking skills, is also bringing its popular services to IC, expanding culinary education programming for those who aspire to cook more at home, including  high quality classes in what is dubbed a ‘popover” cooking lab.

Owner Taylor Erkkinen told this paper she is excited about the move. “Williamsburg is going to get a lot less accessible so one of the things I’m looking to do is gain a foothold in another part of the city,” she said. “We’ve been taking a look at where our customers are coming from and they’re coming from Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill — places where it will be easier for them to get to Sunset Park.”

Although, to start, there won’t be an extensive retail element in the Industry City space, Erkkinen said she’s leaving open the possibility of expansion, noting, “We may have some items for sale but it won’t be the same level of retail that we’ve been doing in Williamsburg. It’s wait and see at the moment to see where the marketplace is going.”

IC also welcomed New York City’s first sake brewery, Brooklyn Kura.

The new business, which had a successful soft opening earlier this year at 68 34th Street, is ready to change how people think of sake, not just in Brooklyn, but the entire country.

Using four deceptively simple ingredients—American-grown rice, koji, Brooklyn water and yeast—Brooklyn Kura utilizes time-honored techniques to craft a sake that is subtle yet complex. Surprisingly, there are only 15 other sake breweries in the United States.

“I think Sunset Park is a special place,” said Co-founder and President of Brooklyn Kura Brian Polen. “It’s tough to start a brewery in New York City primarily because of the availability of spaces that are zoned appropriately to do this type of work, so Industry City and its objective of creating this dynamic maker-retail community and its plans around some of the other manufacturers and retailers that were coming on line made it perfect for us. Not only did we not have to worry about the zoning challenges some breweries deal with but we were in a place that is being heavily invested in with a whole bunch of companies.”

It was also recently announced that longtime favorite Brooklyn specialty grocery store Sahadi would be coming to IC. The establishment, a Brooklyn fixture on Atlantic Avenue since 1948, will be opening up a second location at 52 35th Street. No opening date has been set though the goal is a 2018 or early 2019 grand opening.

Co-owner Christine Sahadi Whelan talked to this paper about the family’s excitement about expanding in IC.

“We are really excited about the opportunity to partner with Industry City,” she said. “We have been discussing joining them in their campus for quite a number of years. It’s a beautiful campus. They’re great partners. My husband Pat is a longtime part of the Sunset Park Waterfront Task Force and our warehouse is in that area so we are part of that community already.”

The complex’s food court is also a growing attraction.

Avocaderia,  located at 238 36th Street, which opened last spring, is one of the new eateries in IC’s food court, which has been gaining popularity.

Filippo Brachetti of Avocaderia, said his brother Francesco, “opened this place after being in Mexico for three years, where he fell in love with the avocado because it was very healthy and delicious. Many other people do other things, but our thing is avocado. There are so many places that just do pizza or tacos so why not do avocado?”

Also a recent addition to the food court is Kotti Berliner Döner Kebab.

An innovative fusion of two cuisines, Kotti utilizes traditional Turkish döner (marinated, grilled chicken served on a plate in its country of origin) and handmade Turkish lavash or pide bread to create sandwiches that reflect the fast-paced lifestyle of West Berlin where one of the two owners of the eatery grew up.

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