While waterfront neighbor Red Hook was recently named Brooklyn’s most expensive neighborhood despite the challenges it presents when it comes to public transportation, easy-to-reach Sunset Park remains slightly out of the spotlight despite steady investment and growth. Blocks of historic row houses have long ago left the realm of bargain buys, but there’s still an air of the undiscovered. This three story, three-family, four-bedroom-plus-apartment property at 425 45th Street is a prime example of Sunset Park perfection, and at $1.5 million seems downright affordable given what the average two-bedroom apartment commands a mere two subway stops away.
All photographs © James and Karla Murray for 6sqft
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, we take a look at the inner workings of Sunset Park’s Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, from trash heaps to machinery to a learning center. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
The beauty of trash is not often lauded, but out on the Brooklyn waterfront, at Sunset Park’s Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, the process is oddly mesmerizing. En masse, the glass and plastic shards processed in the building’s bowels become a disposable rainbow, the sharp shapes of residential recyclables a testament to the mesmerizing aesthetic of large-scale sustainability.
Sims is located on the 11-acre 30th Street Pier, which also contains the city’s first commercial-scale wind turbine. On Sims’ second story is a recycling education center; surrounding its exterior are a number of nature-harboring reefs, moorings, and native plants; and on the roof is an observation deck. The plant sorts 800 tons of recyclables on 2.5 miles worth of conveyor belts and machines daily, the majority of NYC’s “commingled curbside material,” its site proudly purports. In total, the plant processes 200,000 tons of plastic, glass, and metal a year. Ahead, take a look at the Sims world, where trash is heaped so high it really does look like treasure if you squint.
Photo courtesy of Industry City
The public review process for the rezoning of Industry City begins Tuesday, an effort to boost total capital investment of the sprawling campus to $1 billion and generate 13,000 on-site jobs and 7,000 off-site jobs over the next decade. Currently, Industry City sits on 35 acres with 16 buildings in its waterfront Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park. The rezoning would restore the century-old campus and increase total usable square footage from 5.3 million to 6.6 million square feet. After presenting plans to the City Planning Commission and creating an environmental statement, the project will then enter the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) this Spring, followed by the public review process.
Courtyard at Industry City, photo courtesy of Industry City
A 20,000 square foot Japanese food market will open in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn next year, adding to New York City’s growing infatuation with food halls. The market, called Japan Village, will set up shop in Industry City, a sprawling 16-building, 6.5 million-square-foot complex of creative office space. In addition to the food hall serving up authentic dining options, Japan Village will include an izakaya restaurant, a sake store and a specialty grocery store.
6sqft’s new series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the Industry City space of Evergreene Architectural Arts, one of the nation’s foremost restoration and conservation firms.
On Monday evening, the Historic Districts Council will present their 29th annual Landmarks Lion Award to Jeff Greene of EverGreene Architectural Arts, one of the nation’s foremost experts in specialty contracting for both traditional and new, innovative techniques for restoring and conserving murals, ornamental plaster, and decorative finishes. “Jeff has been pivotal in restoring some of New York City’s most beloved landmarks to their proper glory,” said HDC’s executive director Simeon Bankoff. And indeed, this is true; their commissions include the recent restoration of the New York Public Library’s Rose Reading Room, Brooklyn’s Loew’s Kings Theater, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, and the McKim, Mead and White-designed University Club, where the event will be held, and this only scratches the surface of their hundreds of projects throughout the country.
In anticipation of Jeff’s recognition, 6sqft was given a behind-the-scenes tour of EverGreene’s new office and studios in Industry City, where the firm’s master artisans were hard at work painting murals, casting plaster moldings, and researching the history of several upcoming projects. We also spoke with Jeff himself about what inspired him to get into the field (“I ate the crayons before marking the walls,” he says), how preservation has changed since he started the firm in 1978, and what some of his favorite projects have been.
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.
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.
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.