The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) has been restoring vacant factories in North Brooklyn for their intended uses since 1992, with the aim of sustaining the boroughhs vibrant manufacturing sector. After a few years of inactivity, the center has a new project underway near the Montrose L stop in Williamsburg as the result of financial support from various city agencies. The New York City Industrial Development Agency (IDA) announced on March 13 that it will extend tax benefits to the not-for-profit organization to help it acquire and renovate the 72,000-square-foot facility. In addition to $4.5 million pledged by the IDA, City Council has contributed $3.5 million, and the Brooklyn borough presidentts office will furnish another $500,000.
The facility will support small and medium industrial companies, providing an estimated 125 jobssas many as are supported in all of GMDCCs five other projects, which together cover 770,000 square feet at sites in Greenpoint and East Williamsburg. Tenants have included architects, woodworkers, and apparel manufacturers, among others. Since restructuring in summer 2005, GMDC has expanded its focus beyond North Brooklyn; its first project to develop a factory for a company in the Bronx fell through, however, because it was less expensive to move to New Jersey.
Itts been a difficult market for a not-for-profit group,, GMDC CEO Brian Coleman said. Real estate speculation and the Greenpoint/Williamsburg rezoning contributed to the absence of new GMDC projects, he said. Its last project was completed in 2001. It has persevered with the latest project, which Coleman said cost almost twice as much to acquire as its earlier ones.