BROOKLYN, N.Y.–The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Bldg 92 has opened a small exhibition that focuses on some of the more than 330 manufacturers that now reside at the facility. Called “Making it in NYC,” it is divided among five manufacturing categories—Furnishing and Home Goods, Energy and Resiliency, Building and Construction, Fashion and Apparel and Tech and Media—and each highlights several companies and their products. Talks, tours and demos are also a part of the program.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard employed 77,000 people during World War II, David Ehrenberg, president and CEO, Brooklyn Yard Development Corp. told HFN. “It was one of the industrial powerhouses of the world.” After a decline, it has since reinvented itself into a new manufacturing facility, focusing on smaller companies—and jobs. And the home category is its biggest one, said Daniella Romano, vice president, exhibits and programs, BNYDC.
When furniture maker Scott Jordan first came to the Yard in 1988, “it was an industrial wasteland,” he said. Scott Jordan’s Bisbee chair is one of the items on display at the exhibit. Other companies in the home category include design studio Uhuru, modular furniture company Eco-Systems and Spuni, which makes ergonomic baby spoons.
While it’s relatively easy to find retail or commercial space, “industrial space is hard to find in the city,” Aisha Glover, vice president, external affairs, BNYDC. The Yard is fulfilling a need and is now 100 percent leased, with a waiting list of more than 100 companies, she added. Currently, four million square feet of space is being used by manufacturing companies, and the Yard is adding three million more. “We can’t get space up and running fast enough.”
Seven thousand people come to work here every day, Glover said. “People are coming together and making things— it’s an important part of the story.”
Romano added, “It’s incredible—you can build your home, furnish it and then get your produce all in one space.” (The Yard has a 65,000-square-foot rooftop garden.)