Monday, July 28, 2014

My Brief Visit to The Industry City Food Court

Wall Art as you enter the building at the food court at Industry City..

Industry City has been in the news a great deal lately. Whether it is warranted or the articles are paid for in an effort to hype the place is a discussion for another time. I suspect that it's a little bit of both. I happened to be a few blocks from 36th street and had a few minutes to kill so I walked over to see what the food court was about. There are huge flags hanging on the outside of the building at 36th street but I didn't see any store fronts. I asked a security guard where the food court was and he pointed to the entrance and I went in. The ground floor is festooned with wall art to try to give it a different atmosphere from the reality that this is basically an industrial building where all the plumbing and wiring is on the outside rather than in the walls. It's very clear that the place was just recently completed and revamped and half the locations on the ground floor have yet to be either rented or are undergoing further construction. I would guesstimate that half the floor space is still to be rented. a walk a little further down the hall I saw the first establishment A Place called the Modern Primitive Cafe. The sort of trendy cafe  that you would see somewhere in upper Park Slope rather than here. I took a card and went on taking a few snapshots with my iPhone  as I went along. On the sides you could see through the windows small shops where people were preparing food. On one side you could see it was some kind of bakery setup and about a half dozen people working with dough. As I walked a little further down there was a small shop and some people inside waiting for their orders. I briefly went inside and looked around. There were three workers behind the counter and one of them was making sandwiches which looked more like pannini.  I took a business card  and It said the name of the business was Ninja Bubble Tea. Across from Ninja was a setup with dining tables and about four people either eating or looking at their iPhones. I noticed WIFI was painted on the walls so I turned on WIFI on my iPhone and sure enough there was a connection (Industry City) free open WIFI. Apparently the entire building is wired. Further down the hall I notice an open door where there seemed to be a courtyard and sure enough there was. A number of people were seated at tables eating and a group was playing Boccie ball (in a Boccie ball court that was put there at the other end of the courtyard. I started to wonder if this is where the Mister Sunday parties I wrote about a few days ago take place. I snapped a shot and went back inside to continue my exploration, at the end of the hall was another cafe. This one must be pretty popular since there was a line of about six people waiting to give their order. A place called Colson Pattisserie. My exploration over I walked outside and asked the security guard where I could find any of the art galleries that are supposed to be in Industry City. He pointed out to the other end of the building at a separate entrance and said there was one on the third floor but they might be closed. I figured I'd give it a shot and walked over. Sure enough after I went to the third floor the doors were closed. My brief visit to that building told me a couple of things. half the spaces are empty. They have yet to rent them or they may be coming in at some point. As I walked out the building towards third avenue I notice two moving vans and movers bringing stuff in like desks and assorted office stuff.  So I guess at least somebody is moving in. In any case, Somebody out there is going through a lot of trouble trying to hype the place. I start think way back when the northern part of Sunset Park was almost overnight renamed Greenwood Heights after trying to sell it as South Slope failed to catch on.  Somehow I see a repetition of the same tactic here. Well, it seems to be working...

Inside Ninja Bubble Tea at the food court..

Playing Boccie Ball at the courtyard..

Eating area in Front of Ninja..

Wall art and a small dinnete table in the hallway..

Blue Marble Ice Cream hasn't opened yet..

Entrance at the other end of the food court..

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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