NYCxDesign 2017, New York City’s official turn to celebrate all things design, hits town from May 3 – May 24. NYC is among the world’s design capitals and home to more designers than any other U.S. metro area. NYCxDesign spotlights the city’s diverse design community and its contributions to our economy and everyday life, and increases awareness of and appreciation for design with a collaborative mix of cultural, professional, educational and commercial offerings. This year’s celebration is the longest-running one to date. You can head in any direction and you’ll stumble into a design-related event, but we’ve compiled a guide to a few of the top collaborative efforts and highlighted some of our picks.
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Like most things in New York, creative communities come and ago as new development and rising rents force artists to move on to the next best, or cheaper neighborhood. While 6sqft found ‘hoods like the Upper East Side, Harlem and Long Island City to be the best places for artists a few years back, we’ve updated our top-10 list to reflect the changing times. Ahead you’ll find some areas you may expect–Sunset Park and Bushwick, for example, along with more up-and-coming artsy enclaves like Newark, Washington Heights, and the South Bronx.
Alexis Bittar, Clara Sunwoo ink leases at Industry City, bringing total fashion space to 350,000+ square feet, Mon, April 3, 2017
There’s been much talk in the past couple months about the city’s push to drive the fashion industry from its long-time home in the Garment District to new, lower-cost space in Sunset Park. The new, $136 million, 200,000-square-foot “Made in NYC Campus” has become synonymous with the shift, but the adjacent Industry City mega-development has been at the forefront since even beforeBelvedere Capital and Jamestown Properties took over in 2013. With tenants such as the Gap, Bauble Bar, and Rag & Bone, they’ve now announced that internationally known jewelry company Alexis Bittar will lease an additional 10,000 square feet (they already have 17,000), and a source tells us that women’s apparel label Clara Sunwoo is leasing 14,000 square feet of space, moving completely from the Garment District. This brings Industry City’s total space leased to fashion companies to 350,000 square feet, more than 200,000 of which is manufacturing space.
At a Manhattan community board meeting Wednesday evening, city officials told garment industry representatives of plans to remove Midtown‘s manufacturing preservation requirement, Crain’s reports. The change to a 1987 zoning rule means that landlords will have the option to rent the formerly set-aside space to commercial office tenants. City officials cited the failure of the preservation effort to meet its goal, highlighted by a reported 83 percent decline the number of garment workers–from 30,000 to 5,100– since it was first implemented. As 6sqft recently reported, the rezoning is seen as “a clear push to drive these businesses toward lower cost space in Sunset Park.”
Last week, 6sqft took an in-depth look at how Sunset Park has become the new frontier for the city’s garment industry, thanks to “several industrial conversions [that] offer cheaper rents, better equipped real estate, and a creative, collaborative community.” Part of the city’s push to revitalize the fashion trade in the burgeoning Brooklyn nabe is a collaboration with its “Made in New York” marketing campaign, which has previously been geared towards promoting film and television productions and technology companies. They’ll also be investing $136 million to create the “Made in NYC Campus,” a renovation of two waterfront Bush Terminal structures that will provide affordable space for film, fashion, and virtual reality tech companies, as well as a new pedestrian-friendly plazas and streets. The city’s Economic Development Corporation has tapped WXY architecture + urban design to design the complex, and the firm has revealed a batch of renderings that showcase the project.
Photo via Alexandra Ferguson
At its peak in 1950, the city’s garment industry employed 323,669 New Yorkers. By 2000, this number had dropped to 59,049, and in 2015, it was less than half that with just 22,626 residents “making apparel, accessories, and finished textile products,” reports the Times. The struggling trade, long centered in the area bound by 5th/9th Avenues and 35th/41st Streets, has fallen victim not only to national trends of work being shipped overseas, but local issues like rising rents, outdated facilities, and competition from tech and media companies. But thanks to a collaboration between the city and the Council of Fashion Designers of America, a “new, modern garment district” is taking hold in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, where several industrial conversions offer cheaper rents, better equipped real estate, and a creative, collaborative community
We’re told this big and bright pre-war apartment at 1413 9th Avenue is in a 1923 Finnish co-op building. We know that’s not unusual for Sunset Park: In the first half of the 20th century, the neighborhood was home to a large Scandinavian community. But this particular home’s charming interiors are also the picture of Scandi-chic (though we’re pretty sure it’s coincidental). At $560,000, three big bedrooms with plenty of space to spare make the laid-back minimal decor that much easier on the eyes.
December’s first days bring a dazzling parade of holiday gift markets all vying for the opportunity to find new homes for a bounty of goodies and crafty gifts. We’re all familiar with the big NYC markets at Bryant Park and Union Square, but some of the best finds—and the most fun—can be found at smaller, cooler pop-ups and neighborhood markets. Some are only around for a weekend, others for the whole month or longer. In addition to locally-made jewelry and crafts, vintage finds, artfully curated fashions, home items and other things we didn’t know we needed, these hip retail outposts sparkle with drinks, food, workshops, tarot readings, nail art, music, and family fun to keep shoppers’ spirits bright.
In 2014 the news surfaced that Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) was planning to sell its Sunset Park branch at 5108 4th Avenue to a non-profit community development organization, Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC). The developer would demolish the 43-year-old building and build in its place a larger library with eight stories above that would contain 49 below-market-rate apartments, in part with public money allocated by Borough President Eric L. Adams. The developers say the plan will create housing for Brooklyn’s neediest residents. Brooklyn Paper now reports that developers are preparing to pitch the project to Community Board 7’s land-use committee on November 3 as part of a public review process. The city council has the final say whether it goes through.
Sunset Park isn’t a neighborhood particularly known for its grand co-op buildings, but this two-bedroom apartment comes from 570 44th Street, a 16-unit co-op built in 1914. The listing calls the building “one of the first Finnish co-ops in Sunset Park.” In case you didn’t know, parts of Sunset Park in the early 20th century were commonly known as “FinnTown,” and the Finnish population built around 25 co-ops here. The building comes with original moldings and stained glass windows in the hallway. And this ground-floor apartment, which has just hit the market for $520,000, boasts some lovely details and quirks of its own.