The Place Economy

Client: Hoyne
Services: Custom Project – Book

Industry Returns to the City.

In New York, placemaking nous, deep pocket and long-term thinking is helping transform 15 blocks of rundown waterfront warehousing and manufacturing space in working-class Sunset Park into Industry City. The work of the team behind Chelsea Market, Brooklyn Navy Yards and Milk Studios, this 600,000-square-metre industrial park is on its way to creating 20,000 local jobs in innovative creative businesses spanning food, fashion, film, media, micro-manufacturing, design and retail.

“You can go to any American city that had traditional manufacturing from 1850-1950 and you’ll see these beautiful old buildings that in many cases are in decay,” says Industry City CEO Andrew Kimball. “They’ve either been brought back to life for low-investments uses like storage or high-investment, high-return uses like housing. Never, in my experience, has a development of this size been undertaken for the complex’s original purpose, which was commercial, industrial use and job creation.”

Andrew headed the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development for 10 years. Industry City’s owners, Jamestown Properties and Belvedere Capital, have adaptive re-use runs aplenty on the board across the water in Manhattan, including Chelsea Market and the Meatpacking District. Now the team is five years into an ambitious reimagining of the 16-building Bush Terminal complex in the former manufacturing stronghold of Sunset Park. “I would say we have another eight to 10 years to go,” Andrew says. “We’ve grown from 150 businesses to 450. We’ve gone from 1500 jobs to 7000. That’s the equivalent of 100 jobs a month. But we’ve still got a ways to go. We’ve spent about US$300million and easily at the end of the entire project, it’ll be well over US$1billion; 100 per cent private capital.”