City lures industrial firms and their manufacturing jobs to Brooklyn waterfront

September 13, 2011 10:12AM

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NYC Economic Development Corp. President Seth Pinsky and the Brooklyn Army Terminal
Thanks to large industrial sites on the Brooklyn waterfront, in particular the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the city’s Economic Development Corp. is making good on its effort to retain and expand New York’s industrial workforce. The Wall Street Journal reported that three new firms have signed leases at the Army Terminal, bringing the total count to 68 companies and 2,400 in the 90 percent-occupied, four million square-foot area.

“It’s an industrial landscape, which a lot of places in America have just given up on, but thanks to strategic investments by the city, unlike many of those other places, we’re actually bringing industrial uses back,” said Seth Pinsky, president of EDC.

The agency is in negotiations for another 100,000 square feet worth of leases at the Army Terminal, and has plans to renovate 400,000 more industrial square feet. It is also creating a 486,000-square-foot biotech facility in partnership with SUNY Downstate. But the biggest redevelopment project is that of the 1.1 million square-foot Federal Building No. 2 warehouse, which the city recently sold to Salmar Properties for $9.4 million. The private developers are planning to begin a $30 million to $40 million renovation in about five weeks.

Though luring industrial manufacturers is difficult considering the cost associated with New York real estate, rents in the Army Terminal range from $6 to $8 per square-foot, which is comparable to the $5 per square-foot industrial average in New Jersey. [WSJ]