Earlier this year, Lonely Planet named Sunset Park one of the world’s coolest neighborhoods to visit. One of the Brooklyn neighborhood’s highlights is Industry City, described as “the SoHo of Sunset Park” by the New York Times. The six million square-foot, 19th-century complex is used to celebrate art, the artisan process, culinary exceptionalism, and other creative outlets.
Industry City is undergoing a long-term restoration and renovation, but many of the complex’s 16 buildings are open for business at any given time. Here’s a look at the Sunset Park landmark’s history and present-day offerings.
History and Operations
Built by industrial tycoon Irving T. Bush in the 1890s, Bush Terminal was New York City’s first intermodal shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing complex. After purchasing the complex in the mid-1980s, Industry City Associates renamed Bush Terminal Industry City. Today, the developer Jamestown (Chelsea Market) holds a 50% stake in the complex. In 2012, Jamestown launched a ten-year, $1 billion renovation project. Andrew Kimball, who spearheaded the revitalization of Brooklyn Navy Yard, runs Industry City’s day-to-day operations.
Art at Industry City
Artists flocked to Industry City after the complex opened 30,000 square feet of artists’ studios in 2009. It immediately became a hub of avant-garde creativity, hosting art installations, independent film screenings, concerts, and more. Since 2012, Industry City has hosted the biannual Fashion Week Brooklyn emerging international fashion event.
Industry City’s massive food hall has slowly, but surely established a name for itself as one of the better restaurant emporiums in New York City. Home to mouthwatering soup dumplings and the world’s first avocado bar, more than a dozen established and up-and-coming names are already serving burgers, tacos, sandwiches, sandwiches, ice cream, and other sweets in the food hall. The Industry City Food Hall has been compared to Chelsea Market’s, especially fitting now that an Eataly-style Japanese food village is on its way. The 20,000-square-foot Japan village will feature six food stalls, an izakaya, sake store, specialty grocery, and more. Owners Tony and Takuya Oshida, of Michelin-starred Kyo Ya fame, plan to open Japan Village in spring 2018.
Events and Other Uses
Industry City’s 7,700-square-foot innovation lab is a catalyst for technical and vocational job training and placement in Sunset Park. In 2014, the Brooklyn Nets announced they’d be moving their training center to Industry City following a $50 renovation to the roof of of one of the complex’s empty buildings. The Collision Project fosters innovative collaboration between artists, entrepreneurs, and other visionaries that benefits the public. These are a few of the things going on at Industry City, whose retail and commercial offerings seem to expand daily. With a range of indoor and outdoor event spaces for rent, Industry City is a natural event host site. In addition to Fashion Week Brooklyn, Industry City hosts the Renegade Craft Fair, Breakfestival, ethnic restaurant weeks, and several other festivals and events each year.
In light traffic, Industry City is a 10-minute cab ride from NU Hotel. The sprawling complex is worth checking out even on a business-as-usual day. If an event you’re interested in attending will be hosted at Industry City while you’re in Brooklyn, be sure to check it out.