April 23, 2015
Congratulations to Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center and Enterprise Community Partners on being selected as a semi-finalist in the Job Creation Category for the NDC Academy Awards 2015. The NDC Academy Awards Semi-Finalists represent some of the most innovative and impactful developments changing the lives for residents in underserved communities.
1102 Atlantic Avenue Industrial Center – Brooklyn, NY
The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) is the premier nonprofit industrial developer in New York City. By purchasing and renovating dilapidated industrial buildings, GMDC has helped preserve and create hundreds of jobs for low-income New workers and has provided a strong anchor for future outside investment. Since its inception in 1992, GMDC has rehabilitated seven Brooklyn manufacturing buildings for occupancy by small manufacturing enterprises and artisans. Currently GMDC owns and manages five of these properties, which together represent more than 586,000 square feet of space. These buildings are occupied by 110 businesses that employ more than 550 people. The 1102 Atlantic Avenue Industrial Center is GMDC’s latest project: the renovation of a former auto parts warehouse facility in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn into a multi-tenanted manufacturing center. The $14.7 million development project entails the rehabilitation of this two-story, 50,000 square foot industrial property and the creation of production space for small and mid-sized manufacturers. These units will be marketed specifically to businesses that seek the location a land market advantages of New York City. Once fully built out, the project will provide space for approximately 14 new businesses and 76 new or retained jobs for workers making an average of$47,000 per year. This is well above living wage standards and higher than average for both the retail and food service sectors in New York. The project will address New York City’s growing emphasis on locally manufactured products by marketing to traditional GMDC tenants such as woodworkers, cabinet makers, artisanal trades such as set and custom frame builders, metal workers and garment makers.
Small manufacturing businesses are now proliferating in New York, and the City has made efforts to encourage and retain these businesses, but the realities of the New York real estate market make finding affordable production space very difficult. Industrial real estate remains expensive in spite of the economic downturn, and there is much less industrially-zoned land as a result of a decade of rezoning efforts conceived primarily to facilitate other uses in manufacturing districts. GMDC’s new project will offer a haven to small businesses by offering affordable rents, long-term leases, and the opportunity to build business networks. The project will bring new jobs to the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, a neighborhood that has high rates of poverty and unemployment. The project directly addresses multiple community priorities, including the creation or retention of 102 full-time jobs during construction and 76 permanent manufacturing jobs and investment in a low-income urban community. The project will also incorporate sustainable elements, including LEED Certification and a photovoltaic system on the roof. The proposed manufacturing facility will address a host of critical issues facing the neighborhood of Crown Heights, the borough of Brooklyn, the City of New York, and the region as a whole. GMDC will focus on marketing the new facility to small and mid-sized manufacturing companies. Manufacturing has made a recent return as one of New York City’s most profitable sectors, offering employees above living wage salaries and opportunities for business growth, largely due to the vastness of the city’s market. New York City also offers a very strong labor force, often immigrant-based, which is key to the success of these businesses.