July 14, 2016
East New York Industrial Business Zone Plan includes over $16 million in new City investment improvements create potential to attract 250 new companies; add up to 2.7 million square feet of industrial space
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Member Rafael Espinal today released the East New York Industrial Business Zone (ENY IBZ) Plan, a package of 20 strategic commitments that will bring over $16 million in infrastructure improvements to the ENY IBZ. By catalyzing better activation of underutilized properties as well as new construction, the ENY IBZ Plan could help create up to 2.7 million square feet of new and modernized space over the next decade, which could provide space for as many as 250 additional companies and 4,000 new jobs.
“For generations, East New York has been a hub for well-paying industrial jobs,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “With this plan, and millions of dollars of investment, we’re not only preserving these critical jobs – we’re helping keep East New York at the forefront of our industrial economy for generations to come.”
“Although the unemployment rate in Brooklyn has decreased in recent years, East New York still struggles with unemployment rates in the double digits. From the moment Mayor de Blasio announced his plans to rezone East New York, I made it clear that any affordable housing plan must also include a jobs plan – and the jobs plan must start with the East New York IBZ. Today’s announcement sets out a plan to not only invest in the businesses that exist in the IBZ today, but also a plan to invest in the people of East New York, ensuring that East New York residents have the tools they need to compete for jobs in the IBZ. I want to thank both Mayor de Blasio and Maria Torres-Springer, President of the NYC Economic Development Corporation, for working with me to ensure the ENY Community Plan included a robust jobs plan that will benefit residents of Cypress Hills, East New York and Ocean Hill for years to come,” said Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr.
“The industrial heritage of East New York is not only vital to the future of this community, but to the future of our city’s economy,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “This Plan for the East New York Industrial Business Zone provides a solid strategy for retaining and expanding industrial and manufacturing jobs for New Yorkers of all backgrounds and skill levels.”
“SBS is committed to training and connecting New Yorkers with 21st Century jobs, helping businesses to launch and grow – and creating thriving commercial corridors,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “In East New York, we are devoting resources in all of these areas to boost economic growth and opportunity for residents and businesses throughout the community.”
City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod said, "The multi-pronged plan announced today to invest in East New York's Industrial Business Zone and promote job growth is further evidence of how the City is making good on the commitments made during the public review process for the East New York Community Plan. Not only are we working to promote affordable housing development through changes to zoning, but we are fostering more livable, thriving neighborhoods by making coordinated investments, spurring economic development and improving community resources.”
The ENY IBZ is a 57-block area that already encompasses 250 businesses and 3,000 jobs. Building off of the historic cluster of metal finishing and fabrication firms that are still prevalent today, the ENY IBZ is poised for significant job growth in related product manufacturing industries, such as woodworking and growing construction specialty trades, including concrete, electrical and other building construction activities. Industrial firms in these growth sectors are less reliant on the highway network and instead value the robust public transit connections found in East New York for employee access and reliability.
Highlights of Mayor de Blasio’s plan include:
As industrial firms are facing real estate pressures in more expensive industrial markets like Gowanus and Greenpoint-Williamsburg, the ENY IBZ has the potential to provide new homes for companies that might otherwise relocate out of the five boroughs. Additionally, the anticipated construction activity in adjacent neighborhoods from the proposed East New York Community Planwould provide excellent opportunities for existing and future IBZ businesses.
According to a local business survey conducted as part of this study, the jobs in the ENY IBZ are also accessible to area residents of all ages and at all levels of education. Over half of the 3,000 workers in the ENY IBZ are employed in the transportation, warehousing and manufacturing sectors. Approximately 20 percent of the ENY IBZ’s employees come from the surrounding neighborhoods of East New York, Brownsville and Ocean Hill. Approximately 1 out of 3 workers in the ENY IBZ is over 55 years of age, and over 50 percent of workers have only a high school diploma or did not complete high school.
The full list of commitments in the East New York IBZ Plan includes:
The plan can also be found here.
The East New York Industrial Business Zone Plan is based on a study done by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), working with Council Member Espinal, Borough President Eric Adams, Council Member Inez Baron, Community Boards 5 and 16, the East Brooklyn BID, Cypress Hills LDC, the LDC of East New York, other local stakeholders, and the over 40 ENY IBZ businesses that contributed to the study’s business survey. The study was conducted as part of Mayor de Blasio’s East New York Community Plan, which is the first neighborhood rezoning advanced under the Mayor’s affordable housing initiative, Housing New York. The study sought to increase industrial and commercial growth, create quality jobs and improve the physical environment of the East New York IBZ.
The East New York Industrial Business Zone Plan also builds on the de Blasio administration’s ongoing efforts to ensure that both longstanding industrial businesses and new firms have the space to grow and evolve, preserving and creating good jobs in New York City. In November 2015, Mayor de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled a 10-point action plan to modernize the City’s industrial policy backed by more than $115 million in newly announced City funding.
“I’ve said it time after time, when we are talking about affordable housing we should also be talking about providing the opportunities to afford a home in our communities. The number of affordable homes and their affordability coincides with the decades-long decline of the middle class. It’s not a coincidence that as steady good-paying work dried up, so did the affordable housing stock. We need the type of jobs the Mayor’s plan is looking to bring. It’s fundamental to truly transforming these communities and breathing life and affordability back into them,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.
State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, "I commend Mayor de Blasio for the allocation of funds for the preservation and beautification of East New York. The 20-point plan proposed for the East New York Industrial Business Zone will facilitate necessary infrastructural improvements. These improvements will ultimately lead to job creation and growth which will certainly benefit the residents of East New York."
Assembly Member Latrice Walker said, "I am excited to hear that the administration is investing $16 million into East New York to help attract new companies to the Industrial Business Zone. East New York is poised for growth and communities like Brownsville need quality jobs for our residents."
"This is a great plan for the residents of East New York. I look forward to holding the administration accountable and working with them on the rollout. Again, this a wonderful plan for the community,” said A.T. Mitchell, Chair of Community Board 5.
"Community Board #16 applauds Mayor de Blasio for this investment which will provide a much needed upgrade to the infrastructure of the East New York IBZ where over 250 businesses are currently located and provide 3,000 jobs. This long overdue investment will infuse new growth in our local economy and better connect our local residents and workforce," said Viola Walker, District Manager of Community Board 16.
“The IBZ Plan is a great first step, and given the ambitious goal of 3900 promised jobs, it will require a sustained long term commitment – which we look forward to working with the city on over an extended time period to ensure its success," said Michelle Neugebauer, Executive Director of Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation.
“The Local Development Corporation East New York and East Brooklyn BID have invested countless hours over several decades aimed at improving and maintaining the East Brooklyn Industrial Park. We are pleased that this administration, NYC EDC and NYC DSBS are providing the resources and policies that prove in a meaningful way they are listening to the voices of economic development professionals and to local companies that once were the backbone of our economy. Let us be mindful, these companies still play a vital role in our respective communities by providing employment opportunities for local residents. Subsequently, these companies need functional ‘business friendly’ industrial parks equipped with 21st century technology in order to compete in today's market place,” said Bill Wilkins, Director of Economic Development Corporation of East New York.
“As a 5th generation manufacturing business continuously operating in East New York since 1896, we enthusiastically support the investment and commitment to the East New York Industrial Business Zone by this administration. Programs like the proposed infrastructure improvements and the Workforce1 center will assist companies like us in the area to remain competitive and will encourage new businesses to join our community. We’re excited for our future in East New York and the future of our community,” said Richard Henning, CEO of Belmont Metals.