THE DECADE LONG RENOVATION OF THE BROOKLYN ARMY TERMINAL ADVANCES IN BOTH INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SPACES, AND THE FACILITY NOW WELCOMES FOUR NEW MAKER TENANTS
BY EVAN MONROE • PHOTOS COURTESY OF NYCEDC
Even as Industry City in Sunset Park goes through an identification struggle and expansion growing pains simultaneously marked by the loss of pioneering small industry gadflies like Manufacture New York but the arrival of keystone tenants like West Elm and the Brooklyn Nets management offices, a less well told story is the next great office/manufacturing space to the south once a vital component of World War II cargo conveyance. Formerly the U.S. Army Military Ocean Terminal and later the Brooklyn Army Base, the Brooklyn Army Terminal its main structures twin eight story buildings comprising 4 million square feet of floor space processed the loading and embarkation of more than 37 million tons of military supplies and more than three million soldiers (most famously Elvis Presley) in its 50 years of operation. The 97.2 acre site, left to decay by the federal government in the 1970s, was sold to New York City in 1981. The responsibility of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) since 1991, more than $100 million worth of city funds have been invested in transferring its massive main buildings designed by Woolworth Building architect Cass Gilbert, and the larger highlighted by a striking atrium into a warren of flexible business spaces. Current tenants include electronics firms, financial institutions, light industry, tele services, and textiles and apparel companies, as well as organizations devoted to the arts and the Biotechnology and Research arm of The New York Science and Technology Center, which offers affordable space for science and high technology research, laboratories, and manufacturing. In 2014, when the latest funding initiative was launched, Mayor de Blasio stated that his administration’s goal was to “transform the neglected building into a hub for technology and modern manufacturing.”
Most recently, the 55,000 square foot Administration Building has been refurbished and renamed the BAT ANNEX ready to house more smallish footprint businesses, and an additional 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space will be made available by this fall, along with new green spaces and other outdoor common area detailing.
Notable tenants include Jacques Torres Chocolates, Uncommon Goods, and Lowercase Eyewear, along with Food Manufacturing Hub occupants Momo Dressing, City Saucery, and Salty Road, but very big names like Time, Inc., Rag & Bone, and ABC Carpet & Home that have helped churn profitability at Industry City have been largely lacking. Still, Terminal ranks continue to grow, and four more maker names were added on February 7 when NYCEDC announced the arrival of companies which will collectively take 14,000 square feet of space in the Manufacturing Hub.
The just inked deals will welcome: Green Mustache, a woman owned business that produces organic smoothies and snacks; Mudo Fashion Inc., a sample making and production company that provides sewing, cutting, fusing, and label printing services to apparel clients, utilizing machines that expedite production by eliminating the hand stitching process; Pour steady, a Brooklyn based manufacturer of commercial coffee equipment, which unveiled its first prototype at the 2013 NYC Maker Faire and was an NYCEDC Next Top Maker Fellow; and Rvinyl, a small, employee owned enterprise that designs, manufactures, and sells vinyl vehicle wraps, dash kits, and tints for windows, headlights, and taillights.
“We’re creating critical space and support for companies who want to manufacture and grow in New York City,” said Julie Stein, NYCEDC’s executive director for Sunset Park, in a statement, adding that the new names will fuel “an ecosystem for more small industrial firms to collaborate and grow within a three million square foot campus.”
Brooklyn Army Terminal
140 58th Street / bklynarmyterminal.com