Modular homebuilder loses Brooklyn home

After operating in the Navy Yard for nearly 20 years, Capsys is looking for a new factory

TRD New York /
Aug.August 12, 2014 01:50 PM

Across from Barclays Center, where Bruce Ratner is developing the tallest modular apartment building in the world, another factory home maker is losing its space.

Capsys, a modular home factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, will lose its industrial space when its lease expires in two years — just as modular home building is taking off. The company has been operating in the Navy Yard space for 18 years, producing more than 4,000 modules, or roughly 2,300 apartments, plus hotels and park bathrooms.

“When we started, no one was paying attention to this stuff, but now we have to turn away work,” Nicholas Lembo, Capsys’ founder, told the New York Times.

Although Capsys is not connected to the Atlantic Yards development, it did produce 32 red-brick, three-story rowhouses nearby in 2002, a decade before Ratner went modular.

Capsys’ advantage has always been that it is located within the city, which cuts down on transportation costs. But large industrial spaces within Brooklyn are becoming harder and harder to find, Natalie Hurwitz, a broker at Sholom & Zuckerbrot who specializes in industrial property, said.

“We looked all over and only found one or two buildings out in Canarsie that worked for him, and they would have been two to three times” the price of what he Lembo is now paying, Hurwitz said.

At the Navy Yard, Steiner Studios, the largest film studio in the United States outside of Hollywood, will likely take Capsys’ space, where it had been paying just $4 per square foot or roughly one third the going rate. [NYT] Christopher Cameron

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