Move over, Manhattan.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced on Thursday, December 4 the birth of Brooklyn’s own Manufacturing Innovation Hub for Apparel, Textiles and Wearable Tech, a development that will do just as it says – serve as the epicenter for the fashion ecosystem – right in Sunset Park.
The hub, located at the privately-operated Liberty View Industrial Plaza at 850 Third Avenue, will occupy 160,000 square feet and provide research, design, development and manufacturing resources for the city’s emerging designers and apparel manufacturers.
“This has been a several years long project,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball as he announced that the City of New York, via NYCEDC, will invest $3.5 million to the project through its Industrial Modernization Initiative to allow for the fit-out, modernization and subdivision of the currently-vacant space owned by Salmar Properties, “between getting the building in the control of the city and then also thinking about how to tenant it in a creative and sustainable way.”
The announcement, Kimball said, was a testament to the vision and perseverance of both Manufacture New York CEO Bob Bland and Salmar Properties Co-Founder Marvin Schein.
“When we came here, it was a decrepit old building that was a blight on the community and we saw that we could turn this into something really special,” explained Schein of the space’s recent $100 billion renovation. “Our vision was to create a space that didn’t exist in the industrial section of New York.”
The hub is set to include a workforce development center, a research and development center, a small-run factory specializing in sample making, a design accelerator as well as an incubator space that will contain 12 private studios, classroom space, conference rooms, a computer lab and more.
“This is only the beginning,” added Bland, inviting anyone interested to get involved in the hub’s bright future. “Inclusivity is the name of the game here; competition is dead. This is about all of us working together and making the future that we’ve always dreamed of.”
That future is an economic boon for the area, according to Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen, who said the “Truly vertically integrated hub for the advancement of one of New York City’s most iconic industries” will “support here alone 300 jobs and 30 small businesses, and that’s probably conservative.”
“This is a wonderful development that furthers the vision of Brooklyn and Sunset Park,” lauded State Senator Marty Golden who joined Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna in applauding the hard work of all those who saw this dream through to the end. “New York is on fire and so is Brooklyn.”
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Carlo Scissura agreed.
“This is a game-changer for Brooklyn,” he told this paper. “Just think about what this will look like 10 years from now.”
Glen had a similar vision in mind, stressing that the hub – which will also serve as the new headquarters for Manufacture New York, a Brooklyn-based company currently facilitating in New York City – will ultimately secure New York City as the reigning “global capital” of commerce, culture and coolness.
Liberty View Industrial Plaza is a 1.1 million square foot, eight-story industrial building along the Sunset Park waterfront. Formerly known as Federal Building #2, it was transferred to the city in 2011.