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Changes looming: City will lease Bush Terminal to clothing-makers

Sprawling space: The Bush Terminal Made in NY campus will help attract the garment and film industries to Sunset Park with spacious studios.
Brooklyn Paper
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Talk about an alteration!

The city will fix up Bush Terminal and rent space to clothing designers and filmmakers, officials announced on Feb. 14. Garment manufacturers are already fleeing high rents in Manhattan, and the city thought it could put the fallow terminal to good use by dedicating it to displaced designers, according to the deputy mayor for economic development.

“The businesses that want to manufacture in New York are facing very uncertain futures with respect to their real estate, and that’s what the city can do. That’s the intervention we can make,” said Alicia Glen. “And there is no better place to do that than in Sunset Park. Many of these creative industries are already moving here. It’s already happening organically and we want to help move that along.”

The Economic Development Corporation will spend $136 million to restore two dilapidated buildings on 42nd Street near First Avenue to create roughly four football fields’ worth of garment-manufacturing space and will construct a new building devoted to production for film and television. Some of the money will also pay for fixed-up sidewalks and streetlights along First Avenue, as well as improvements to the notoriously hard-to-find entrance of Bush Terminal Piers Park.

Officials expect to break ground in 2018 and have tenants moved in by 2020. The space could handle up to 35 garment manufacturers paying $16–$25 per square foot annually, according to an Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman. For comparison, rents in Manhattan’s “Garment District” have climbed from $38 per square foot in 2010 to as high as $73 per square foot, according to a New York Times article.

New studios will offer film and television productions high-ceilinged sound stages, officials said.

Mayor DeBlasio first announced the project during his Feb. 13 State Of The City address as a jobs booster and a part of his plan to create 100,000 jobs over the next 10 years.

Sunset Park’s forthcoming “Made in New York” campus, as the city is calling it, aims to provide space for 1,500 jobs, but Hizzoner admitted that not all will be new, because established companies will continue to flee Manhattan for Brooklyn’s greener shores.

“Sure, some will come down from Manhattan, but that’s not the core of this vision,” said DeBlasio. “The core of the vision is to now open the possibility of a real rebound in garment manufactur­ing.”

The city is looking to overhaul several dilapidated buildings in the Bush Terminal campus over the next few years, officials said — though it may be too late for one that was in such bad shape it collapsed last year.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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