A lack of parking spaces at Sunset Park’s Industry City is threatening the growth of the thriving area, according to its board members.
“We’re woefully under parked. We desperately need more parking and that’s why I’m here,” said CEO of Industry City Andrew Kimball at the Economic Development Committee meeting held at Community Board 7 on Thursday, February 26. “We are getting dangerously close to the point where we’re going to have to stop leasing and stop creating jobs.”
During the meeting, Kimball handed out sheets that included Industry City’s current constraints and various solutions. “From August, 2013 through today, we went from 2,400 jobs to 4,000 jobs and we went from having a little flexibility in our parking to having zero flexibility. This has become a huge crisis for us.”
Currently, the area controls 350 car spaces and 86 truck spaces taking up approximately 5.3M square feet. 70 percent of that is occupied with 4,000 workers.
“Today, we have one space per 8,500 square feet of space when what we really need is one space per 1,800 square feet of space,” he said.
In Kimball’s proposal, parking expansion could increase by 500 car spaces within the next year. “We began talking to our local elected officials and the city about leasing an additional five acres of city owned land across the street from us. The upland of the rail line that runs through the site would give us those additional five acres of parking and 500 spaces,” he said. “There’s also an MTA rail spur that is one acre and 100 spaces that are vacant today.”
According to the proposal, the goal is for Industry City to have a supply of parking comparable to that at other Brooklyn complexes. “Brooklyn Army Terminal has four million square feet and they have 1,100 spaces,” Kimball said. “When I was at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we had 4.5 million square feet of space and we had 3,500 parking places.”
Attendees chimed in on the proposal. “Sunset Parkers are thrilled that private investment is being made at Industry City as opposed to city funds. It shows the viability of our manufacturing sector,” said Executive Director of Sunset Park Restoration Tony Giordano. “We fully understand the need for parking when thousands of jobs are being generated. Our only request is that Industry City detail a list of real steps that they are taking to encourage the use of public transportation, walking, biking and carpooling for their current and future employees.”
“We’ve got very good momentum now. There’s a lot of buzz about Industry City. There are a lot of jobs being created,” added Kimball. “We desperately need parking to continue to drive job creation.”