Brandon Doughan (left) and Brian Polen (right). Photo © Molly Tavoletti for Brooklyn Kura
6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring Industry City’s Brooklyn Kura, New York’s first sake brewery. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
“It was my first ‘oh, my God’ sake which was made in the U.S.A.” said Japanese-born sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton when he tasted the product of Brooklyn Kura, NYC’s first sake brewery and one of only 15 in the nation. And this is exactly what co-founders Brian Polen and Brandon Doughan strive for. They’re committed to respecting the thousands-year-old Japanese sake brewing traditions, but they also hope to inspire a new interest in this ancient beverage by using unique American ingredients and engaging New Yorkers in the process at their Sunset Park brewery and tap room.
After meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Japan and developing a passion for sake, Brian and Brandon teamed up and got to work on their 2,500-square-foot space in Industry City, which combines the functionality of traditional Japanese breweries with a contemporary Brooklyn design aesthetic. 6sqft recently paid them a visit and had a drink in the tap room (yes, we agree with Niikawa-Helton that the sakes are “so soft, so gentle”), got a look at the sake making process, and chatted with Brian and Brandon about their journey, life at Industry City, and how they’re turning New Yorkers into sake lovers.
Read our interview with Brian and Brandon and see inside Brooklyn Kura
Via Wiki Commons
Move over Chicago, you’re no longer the only windy city – Brooklyn is about to get its own wind. Deepwater Wind, the nation’s leading wind-power developer, intends to build an assembly hub in Sunset Park to support the nation’s future largest offshore wind farm 30 miles east of Montauk (h/t Brooklyn Daily Eagle). This project is part of Governor Cuomo’s ambitious “Clean Energy Standard,” which intends to generate 50 percent of the state’s electricity supply from renewable sources by 2030. The Brooklyn factory is expected to generate $80 million in economic activity and create hundreds of jobs for the area.
Swale in 2017, photo via Subhram Reddy.
A 5,000-square-foot edible perennial garden will travel to the Brooklyn Army Terminal this summer, offering up New Yorkers the chance to harvest fruits and vegetables on top of a barge. The floating food forest, Swale, docked in Manhattan last year and featured an apple orchard surrounded by garden beds. This year, the 130×40 foot barge will set up along the Sunset Park waterfront between May 5 and July 1, and be free and open to the public on the weekends.
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.
Take the tour
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.
Take a tour
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.
Find out more
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.
More this way
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.
Hear from Jeff and take a tour of EverGreene’s incredible space
, 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.
Find out more
, 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.
More this way