Monday, July 28, 2014

Industry City in Sunset Park In The News, Again

Industry City seems to be in the news a lot lately. Yesterday the Wall Street Journal published an article about how both private developers and the City plan to dump over $100 million into three sites in Sunset Park to upgrade and turn int some kind of "industrial" zone and bring in the type of firms that don't need abundant manufacturing or development space. The article was followed by another piece siting it on the Gothamist website.  The reason manufacturing collapsed in the city is what a lot of bureaucrats and Real Estate developers don't seem to understand is that manufacturing technology changed and New York City was not the place to operate. When manufacturing began to change from a vertical mode of production to a horizontal one manufacturers slowly began to leave the confined spaces of the city and move to places where a number of conditions had to be met to build horizontal manufacturing plants which are today's mode of production. The needed to move somewhere where the was a lot of land, either the suburbs or further out. They also needed to be near transportation (highways, railways). It had to be cost effective which meant no taxes or very little. In the competitive atmosphere cities are just not the places to be with high taxes, costly housing, higher wages etc.. That was the main reason most manufacturing left Sunset Park and the City. Planners don't seem to get that. The only rationale for small manufacturers and developers to move into Sunset Park would be if they have a high profit margin in order to deal with the higher costs of working in the city. So the types of businesses willing to relocate there are anything but "industrial". That being said, I took a visit this morning to the new food court and walked around on a few floors on one of the buildings at 36th street. I will write about that separately. How much of the money being spent will be of benefit to the local population is another matter. Brooklyn Army terminal never panned out as the type of manufacturing and development center they have planned for industry city for precisely the above reason I stated above. We will have to see what develops. On the other hand, the modes of manufacturing are changing as we write, from 3d. printing and custom pieces made to specific order and specifications May make a lot of the empty space at Industry city more palatable and attractive to some specialized firms..

Map that as part of the article on the WSJ page.


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