05 January 16

An Industrial Park for the 21st Century
Industry City is Reborn in Brooklyn  

Industry City is just south of Red Hook in Brooklyn, two stops away from Manhattan on the yellow line. In Sunset Park you’ll find theses amazing old industrial buildings next to one another, occupying a huge area that will eventually be the coolest place to work, with lounge areas in the hall ways, outdoor spaces with furniture and games, delicious food and an inspiring environment.

Developer Irving T. Bush laid the groundwork for today’s Industry City in 1895, setting forth to build a monumental manufacturing, warehousing and distribution center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The project, originally known as Bush Terminal, was designed to provide wholesalers in nearby Manhattan with an inexpensive location from which to import, export and manufacture goods.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, Industry City thrived. It had a prime location, tremendous scale and an innovative integrated structure providing top-tier industrial services, including an internal police force, fire department, rail network and power plant. At its peak, it became one of the most prominent and successful facilities of its type worldwide, employing nearly 25,000 workers per day and helping Brooklyn develop into a major international seaport.

I heard about Industry City from a friend who had just started his business there, a coffee company called Alpha Dominche, and I was curious to see the place. The renovation is still going on and it still feels a little empty, but no doubt it will be spectacular eventually. The new developers are the same people who did the very popular Chelsea Market and the plan is to open a dynamic, innovative and creative community for new and existing tenants. The site has an ambition to attract the city's most dynamic designers, innovators and start-ups in the areas of food, fashion, art, media and e-commerce.

The renovation is extensive. Only half of the complex's 144 elevators work, of which only 8 of them are automatic. The windows are the originals from 1895, most rusted and broken, to be replaced following today's regulations. I was told that the window renovation is the largest in the world right now and that they are being held up because they can’t get the windows fast enough. As the project progresses the park in front of the area will also be renovated, and the Ikea ferry that currently has a last stop in Red Hook will extend to Sunset Park and Industry City.  

There will also be an outdoor rooftop movie theater, and Brooklyn Nets will have their practice court on one of the building’s rooftops.

During the winter you can find Smorgasburg and the flea market in Industry City, making this an excellent time to visit.

Industry City, 220 36th Street 2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232