Building big on the banks: Massive distribution center to rise near mouth of Gowanus Canal

Coming soon: The country’s largest distribution center is slated to rise in the coming years at an 18-acre site dubbed Sunset Industrial Park, on Third Avenue between 19th and 21st streets.
Brooklyn Paper
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Developers will erect what they claim will be the country’s largest distribution center on an 18-acre site near the mouth of the Gowanus Canal, after purchasing the massive swath of land earlier this year.

The four-story facility will occupy more than 22 football fields’ worth of Third Avenue land between 19th and 21st streets, which real-estate firms Bridge Development Partners and DH Property Holdings purchased for $255 million in early January, according to Bridge Development Partners executive Jeff Milanaik.

The center will feature a so-called “intricate ramping system” to transport goods to awaiting tractor trailers, which will shuttle its yet-to-be-determined inventory on same-day deliveries to final destinations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, according to the developers.

The builders have yet to court any prospective tenants for the facility, said Milanaik, and they currently do not know how many trucks will be driving to and from it each day. But any increase in big rigs on local streets is likely to rile nearby Sunset Parkers, who last year demanded the city conduct a truck-impact study as officials moved forward with their plans to revitalize the commercial shipping hub at the neighborhood’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.

Work at the massive site will begin in about two years, and start with the demolition of the current FedEx Ship Center at 20th Street and Third Avenue and more than other nearby 30 buildings, none of which are residential, according to Milanaik.

The builders will construct the distribution center under the area’s current zoning law, he said, so their scheme will not require city approval via the public Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

The developers claim the forthcoming facility will create new jobs on-site and in the surrounding neighborhoods, but Milanaik said it is too early to determine the exact amount or types of jobs that may open up, adding that the builders will keep locals in the loop about the project’s progress and employment opportunities.

“As we get closer to the start of the demolition and redevelopment phases, the development company will coordinate with the local community to keep them informed as the project starts and progresses,” he said.

The top staffer of local Community Board 7, District Manager Jeremy Laufer, said the panel does not have any information about the distribution center beyond the details the developers publicly shared when they closed the deal to buy the land.

And one of the facility’s builders is not new to the area. DH Property Holdings honchos in 2017 purchased a four-acre plot in nearby Red Hook from real-estate firm 601 West Companies — the same company that sold them the Third Avenue land this year — where they plan to build a space the size of six football fields for e-commerce tenants, according to a Real Deal report.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.
Posted 12:00 am, March 6, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Jim from Cobble Hill says:
I hope they can take greater advantage of the waterfront. Also, instead of using full on tractor trailers, what about promoting smaller cargo carrier vehicles perfectly matched for a city like NYC. Small businesses would have a much easier time than those big awful trucks. Though really this looks like an investor who has never been to Brooklyn in their life took a look at Google Maps, found a spot near the yellow lines, then handed his idea to an architectural firm in Texas and said "come up with something."
March 6, 2019, 7:42 am
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
Jim from Cobble Hill, I don't see smaller trucks coming into play here considering it would raise labor overhead substantially. Why have three trucks and three drivers when you could hire one large truck and one drive. What's really needed here is what the city has been talking about for 30 years and that's a rail link from Staten Island into Brooklyn. Utilizing the long island freight railroad tracks and merge with the cities transit system could eliminate 70% of the trucks traveling from Jersey to Staten Island into Brooklyn and Long Island. Of course that will never happen because this city is continually on the verge of bankruptcy even though it's the highest taxed city in the nation.
March 6, 2019, 5:08 pm
Bad Move from Brooklyn says:
This is a Bad Move! Sunset Industrial Park is a poor location for a large facility like this. In the wee hrs, you can even make a turn onto 3rd Ave it's so congested. Traffic backs up from the Hamilton Ave Bridge all the way down 3rd Ave. Then when the bridge opens, it all stops, and with recreational boating coming to the Gowanus Canal, the bridge will be open more than its closed. Further, with the loss of the Amazon deal, LIC will have lots of available space in a superior centralized location, and this end of the road location will be dead before they ever pour the 1st footing. They bought it on spec and the loss of Amazon killed it before they could even finish dreaming about it. Looks like the beginning of the end for Dov Hurtz.
March 6, 2019, 7:35 pm
freddy from slope... says:
i smell a back door amazon subcontract.
March 6, 2019, 8:24 pm
TOM from Sunset Park says:
Logistically it's a perfect fit. It's accessible to five upper income neighborhoods where e-commerce is the way they do things now.
March 7, 2019, 2:16 pm
Willybee71 from ex-Heights says:
"Largest Distribution Center in the Country"?? Hmmmm.....Not judging from the Rendering shown, I don't think. The Safeway (Grocery) Distribution Center in Tracy, CA is quite larger; the "Safeway" Logo on Rooftop is even Nekkid-Eye-Visible from ISS (International Space Station).
March 7, 2019, 10:57 pm
Alex from Sunset Park says:
"Community" groups and politicians are against industry city bringing jobs, businesses and community access to the waterfront. Wake up Sunset Parkers! This is what you get instead...
March 8, 2019, 12:37 pm
Bad Move from Brooklyn says:
Tom your obviously not familiar with what it would take to support something of this enormous scale. Less than 1/4 of 1 floor could handle all of the "...five upper income neighborhoods" to which you refer. Willybee your right, there are facilities outside NY that stretch out for miles. I think their words are tricky in that they say "the biggest on an 18 acre site" which they may have been right had it not been for Bush Terminal which is plainly bigger and as a multi-story facility failed in current times. And to Alex, this the reason it's transforming into a retail hipster haven. Industry City is sucking out whatever hope we had of maintaining industry there and significant job base - instead of those structures being filled with workers, they're filled with shoppers from what Tom calls the "...five upper income neighborhood" aka hipsters.
March 10, 2019, 11:58 am
Bill from Bayridge says:
500 vehicles a day pull out of here, Fedex and Verizon Where are fedex and verizon going to move?
March 19, 2019, 12:54 pm

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