Sunset is getting a new neighbor.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in collaboration with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the Garment District Alliance (GDA), has announced that it will pledge $51 million to not only modernize the Garment Center, but to also relocate it to Sunset Park.
The EDC hopes the sizable investment and location to Brooklyn will strengthen the City’s garment manufacturing industry.
“Since taking office, we’ve invested in every piece of the fashion industry, from a new academic building at [the Fashion Institute of Technology], to marketing assistance, to renovating space in City-owned buildings for manufacturers,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen in a statement on Friday, March 24. “I’m committed not just to the stability of garment manufacturing, but to its growth. There’s a market and a demand for clothes that are Made in New York, and we’re taking bold steps to help firms move to the new space we’ve developed so they can grow and thrive.”
The package is said to include real estate stability and clustering by providing grants to cover the relocation, expansion and other costs for businesses that want to move from the Garment Center to Sunset. In addition, it will offer a suite of services to strengthen the growing Sunset Park mass of garment manufacturers, including direct grants for employee transportation, courier services and space fit-out.
According to the NYEDC, the plan was developed following outreach to garment manufacturers, designers, suppliers and industry leaders. Research included interviews, focus groups and site visits to Sunset Park.
“The Garment District Alliance is pleased to partner with NYCEDC and the CFDA to bring this package of meaningful supports to garment manufacturers,” added Barbara Blair, president of GDA. “The future of the apparel industry is dependent upon the sustainability of the fashion ecosystem, and we believe this initiative will help to stabilize the apparel manufacturing sector that has been in decline for many years.”
Back in February, Mayor Bill de Blasio and members of New York’s fashion, film, and television industries showed up at Sunset Park’s Bush Terminal, 13 42nd Street, to announce that the historic building will be converted into a Made in New York campus, which is slated to be completed in three years and create over 1,000 jobs.
De Blasio stressed the significance the fashion industry is for the community. “Fashion is incredibly important to New York City, not just because it helps make us the most creative and exciting city in the world, but because of the hundreds of thousands of jobs and links to economic opportunity it creates,” he said. “We are determined to ensure that New York City’s working designers and manufacturers—and those aspiring to join that community—have the support they need to make it in New York City, and continue to grow NYC as the fashion capital of the world.”