Big things are coming to one of Sunset’s crown jewels, Industry City. From sports to shopping to businesses to new jobs, the growing space is moving forward into the future.
On top of the list is the $1 billion visionary plan announced on March 9 that will redevelop the 16-building, six million-square foot space and is projected to create nearly 20,000 jobs.
“After decades of decline, we are about to launch an era of economic growth, including four million square feet of innovation economy and modern manufacturing space,” said Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball.
According to Kimball, the plan would make Industry City the nation’s largest privately owned adaptive reuse of an underutilized industrial space for modern manufacturing uses. “Our vision,” he stressed, “is to create a hub for the innovation economy with businesses that have long-term viability in New York City, and most of all, create sustainable good paying local jobs.”
“All the members of this community are looking to bring soul to the brick and mortar that has been here,” noted Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, contending that Kimball is “not only bringing his vision but the voices of people working here and want to work here.”
But manufacturing is just the beginning. On June 26, 2014, a press conference was held at Industry City to announce that the Brooklyn Nets would relocate their practice facility from East Rutherford, New Jersey to the eighth floor of the building in a space to be called The Hospital for Special Surgery Training Center.
That facility, according to Irina Pavlova, president of Onexim Sports and Entertainment, will comprise, “A gorgeous, magnificent, world-class state-of-the-art training center with two side-by-side courts, two hydro tubs, a pool, a lounge, a rooftop deck and a meeting lounge.”
Pavlova stressed that, “Once the center is complete, [the Nets] will be 100 percent Brooklyn-based. Our team will play, train and have our offices in this great borough that has welcomed us with open arms.” The privately funded 70,000 square feet facility is slated to open in time for the 2015-16 season.
The training center alone will create over 200 jobs according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Industry City is also adding new retailers, including Design Within Reach (DWR), a furniture and home décor store founded in 1999.
“We chose Industry City because we wanted to be at the center of Brooklyn’s maker movement and join this community of like-minded designers and makers,” said DWR CEO John Edelman in a statement. “With hundreds of other creative makers as neighbors, there are ample opportunities for collaboration and synergies.”
Kimball is also excited about the partnership. “Our partnership with Design Within Reach is representative of the sort of collaborations we hope to build with all of our tenants to foster local talent and entrepreneurship and to grow the innovation economy,” he added. “Design Within Reach will drive business-to-business activity within our complex as well as create good-paying local jobs.”
Though the future looks bright for the large space, the present has much to offer as well. New York City’s oldest chocolate manufacturer Li-Lac Chocolates opened a factory and retail store this past November, much to the delight of those with a sweet tooth.
“It was an amazing package at Industry City,” owner Christopher Taylor enthused, citing IC’s commitment to combining manufacturing with retail spaces. “What really sealed the deal is that Industry City is involved with the community. Our philosophy is that we want to be good corporate citizens, part of the neighborhood.”