, Thu, September 14, 2017
Photo courtesy of Industry City
After Amazon announced last week plans to build a second corporate headquarters in North America, the competition among cities hoping to be chosen remains fierce. The company’s proposed headquarters, called HQ2, would bring $5 billion in initial city investment and 50,000 new jobs, making it very appealing for most cities. According to Crain’s, a group of landlords in Brooklyn is working together to pitch Amazon the borough’s many office properties, including space in Industry City, a massive 6.5 million square-foot complex in Sunset Park. Proposals are due by Oct. 19 and Amazon is expected to make a decision by next year.
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, Tue, September 12, 2017
Streetview of Sunset Park’s Alku Toinen, photo courtesy of Lynn Massimo via HDC
While the co-op movement officially began in Europe in the late 1800s, its legacy as the dominate housing choice in New York City continues today, all thanks to the large groups of Finnish immigrants that landed in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park during the first half of the 20th century. Instead of renting the typical tenement-style buildings of the time, a group of 16 Finnish families decided to combine their resources and set up a housing cooperative called the Finnish Home Building Association in the South Brooklyn neighborhood in 1916 (h/t WNYC). Just over 100 years later, the Finn’s idea of co-ops, which spread quickly throughout the five boroughs, remains prevalent in the city today.
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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.”
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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.
All the renderings and more details ahead
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
Much more on the shift
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.
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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.
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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.
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Despite its opening being pushed to April 2018, the New York Wheel is marking a major milestone–the arrival of its first physical components. According to a press release, the Staten Island Ferris wheel’s four legs arrive today to the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT). When complete, the 60-story, 630-foot wheel will be the world’s tallest, so it makes sense that each leg weighs in at a whopping 500 tons and measures 18 feet wide and 275 feet tall.
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