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150,000 s/f lease heralds maufacturing surge at Industry City

Real Estate Weekly
November 8, 2013
By REW Staff

Virginia Dare, a flavor and extract company that signed its first lease at Industry City 90 years ago, is increasing its presence at the Sunset Park manufacturing complex through the addition of 30 jobs and extending its lease for the 150,000 s/f it occupies for another 10 years.

Another maker-tenant expanding at Industry City is custom bass guitar manufacturer Fodera Guitars, which expanded from 6,500 to 13,000 s/f and has grown from 15 to 18 employees.

Reflecting the diverse tenant roster at the complex, high-end kitchenware supplier Williams-Sonoma also expanded its photography and catalogue production facility from 24,000 to 36,240 s/f for 15 employees.

“Industry City’s tenants increasingly embody the diverse mix of modern-day makers that reflect the emerging innovation economy in New York” said Andrew Kimball, CEO of Industry City.

“We are building a community where makers of a broad range of physical, digital and engineered products can come together to design, produce and sell their wares while creating much-needed local jobs.”

In all, more than 100 businesses have signed new, renewed or expanded leases over the last six months at the century-old Industry City.
These businesses — including 53 new, 45 renewed and four expanded tenants — represent a range of manufacturing sectors, occupy more than 300,000 s/f and employ more than 800 people.

The growth comes as a new partnership led by managing partner Jamestown Properties, Belvedere Capital and Angelo, Gordon & Co. have joined with the Schron and Fruchthandler families to recapitalize the property to convert its 30 acres into a hub for tech and manufacturing, with a focus on local job creation.
The new partnership plans to upgrade the property, which currently houses fewer than 1,400 manufacturing jobs, in order to attract more modern-day manufacturing tenants and double employment over the next three years.

Industry City is currently working with Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, Center for Family Life, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow and others to establish community employment opportunities.

In an effort to cast a spotlight on artisan manufacturing in New York, Industry City launched a 22,000 square-foot marketplace for local makers in October, known as Factory Floor.

The new space will act as a venue for makers to showcase and sell their goods to the public.

Recent growth at Industry City has begun to reverse a long decline at the storied manufacturing complex that was significantly damaged by Superstorm Sandy last year.