Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) has welcomed more new businesses into its massive 55-plus-acre space.
BAT and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) recently announced the opening of a new Micromanufacturing Hub at the complex that will provide smaller industrial manufacturing spaces for companies that want to locate there.
Julie Stein, senior vice president and executive director of Sunset Park for NYCEDC, discussed the model and what it means for BAT’s future.
“When we get inquiries for new space, we make sure that the companies coming in align with the tenanting strategy,” she said.
The new hubs range from 1,500-5,500 square feet, and are designed for growth-stage businesses to be able to move in quickly.
“Historically, our spaces have been more in the 20,000-40,000 square foot range, but a lot of the demand in the market right now is for these smaller spaces,” Stein explained. “We carved up some large spaces into smaller manufacturing units to accommodate manufacturing businesses that are maybe coming out of an incubator or shared space or working out of their apartment and are looking for a bite-size amount of space.”
The four core tenant strategy is key, said Stein.
“It includes traditional manufacturing, which would be your woodworkers, jewelry-makers and machinists,” Stein said. “Another is advanced manufacturing. These are companies that may use robotics, CNC machines or laser cutters in their build-up. The third category is food manufacturing and the fourth is Made in NYC which is our umbrella term for garment manufacturing and TV/media production companies.”
Construction on the Micromanufacturing Hub began over the summer. EDC started leasing space in the last quarter of 2017.
BAT has already announced signed leases with four new tenants in the hub. They include Green Mustache, a local, certified woman-owned producer of organic green smoothies and snacks; Poursteady, a Brooklyn-based manufacturer of commercial coffee equipment that brings speed, precision and reliability to coffee retailers, and a better cup of coffee to their customers; Mudo Fashion, a business that offers contracting services such as sewing, cutting, fusing and care label printing; and Rvinyl, a small, employee-owned company that designs, manufactures and sells vinyl vehicle wraps, dash kits, and tints for windows, headlights and taillights.
“We’ve seen a tremendous amount of demand for the space,” Stein added. “It’s moved really quickly and we are happy the types of companies align with our core four tenanting strategies. We’ll have additional clusters that we can fill. This is the direction that the market is going in so we’re trying to make that happen.”
So far, the tenants, some of which are still moving in, have been thrilled with the space, said Stein.
“I’ve had a chance to tour the spaces and the experience they’ve had so far has been really great,” she said. “It’s unique to be able to find these small, subsidized spaces. We’re also able to wear our policy hats to give affordable rent in order to create jobs. So I think they’re grateful for the affordability of the space as well as the ability to interact with each other. When we talk about BAT, we want to talk about a campus friendly both to working families and entrepreneurs. I think you can do that in this hub in different ways. We are bringing companies that are in their growth stage so there are a lot of opportunities.”
That includes opportunities for employment — including hiring local residents — that start right at BAT.
“We have a WorkForce 1 center on campus that helps job placement,” Stein noted. “Our tenants do a really good job of utilizing the connections they can make for people seeking jobs in the industrial sector.”
The mayor has also been a supporter of the project, Stein said.
“The de Blasio administration has been really invested in BAT and the success of the space and has already invested over $100 million,” said Stein.
Companies interested in the space should visit www.bat.nyc.