When Hurricane Sandy hit the south Brooklyn waterfront, 25m gallons of water — enough to fill 39 Olympic swimming pools — cascaded into the basements of Bush Terminal. The former manufacturing hub, which had become a base for artists and light industry, was devastated.
The flood might have been the coda to the area’s industrial story but, five years later, the waterfront is awash once more — this time with capital. Following an initial $250m regeneration led by Jamestown, Belvedere Capital and Angelo Gordon & Co, Bush Terminal has been reborn as Industry City: 6m square feet of hip retail concessions, workshops and office space sprawled across 16 warehouses. “There’s no bigger adaptive reuse project in the city right now,” says Andrew Kimball, Industry City’s chief executive.
Locally, there has been opposition to the expansion. Ryan Chavez, from Brooklyn community organisation Uprose, is scathing of what he calls “Industry City’s stale vision of post-industrial chic and artisanal consumption”. The proposed re-zoning, in Chavez’s view, “has sent shockwaves of real estate speculation throughout the neighborhood”. Kimball, who previously led the regeneration of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is unmoved by the criticism. “There are always voices of opposition and concern when there is change in NYC,” he says, “but we’re feeling pretty good about the positive response we’ve received to date.” Read More