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
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.
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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.
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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.
Check out our NYCxD picks, this way
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.
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
Industry City is a six million-square-foot, 30-acre industrial complex on the Sunset Park waterfront. Its 16 buildings made up the former Bush Terminal, a manufacturing, warehousing and distribution center that opened in 1895. After falling into disrepair over the past few decades, in 2013, a new ownership team led by Belvedere Capital and Jamestown began their $1 billion undertaking to update the complex while cultivating a diverse tenant mix that fuses today’s burgeoning innovation economy with traditional manufacturing and artisanal craft.
Today, there are more than 4,500 people and 400 companies working in Industry City, and 6sqft recently paid a visit to four of them (a handbag designer, lighting designer, candle company, and chocolatier) to learn why the complex makes sense for their business and what unique opportunities it’s afforded them. We also spoke with Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball about the unprecedented success of the complex and his visions for the future, as well as took a tour of the buildings and their wildly popular public amenity spaces such as the food hall, outdoor courtyards, and tenant lounge.
All this and more ahead
Move over Bushwick and Williamsburg, Sunset Park is the new cool kid in the borough. Curbed shared a report from Cushman & Wakefield that names the 100 coolest streets in the country, and coming in among the top 15 neighborhoods is Sunset Park, “where boxes and independents co-exist.” The report points to a bohemian exodus from Williamsburg, which has become more mainstream and pricey. And though hipsters are moving to ‘hoods like Bed Stuy and Crown Heights, Sunset Park outdoes them with a unique type of retail growth and creative sector thanks to the Bush Terminal Park and Industry City. The millennial population is about 27 percent and the average household income is $81,529.
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