Located on the New York City’s Upper Bay, overlooking Staten Island and New Jersey’s famous Statue of Liberty, is Sunset Park–a neighborhood of more than 120,000 that was incorporated just a little over 50 years ago. The mostly residential neighborhood boasts a sizeable Asian American population, similar to Flushing, and like many neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, was previously used as both a military base and industrial hub. However, outside of a few parades or small events, not many non residents have traveled to the area. That’s projected to change very soon.
Developers have transformed the 6 million square feet of space, previously known as Bush Terminal, into an impressive commercial and mixed use space, to be used for shopping, events, and a residential complex. The plan to redevelop the one time manufacturing hub was announced just five years ago, in 2011. By 2014, the Brooklyn Nets were on board to bring training facilities to the space, and $50 million dollars worth of funds for renovation. And this past year, the Brooklyn favorite Smorgasburg moved its operations from Williamsburg to the area, introducing even more likely tourists and newcomers to the budding region. Experts estimated an influx of about 8,000 people coming to the neighborhood each weekend, just for the event.
Perhaps the biggest name staking a claim in the region is Time Inc., which owns over 20 magazines and other publications in the United States and Europe. The company signed a 15-year lease in 2015 to house part of its operations in the space, moving approximately 300 employees to the development by the end of last year. This is just one facet of the company’s relocation efforts. The company is also moving to lower manhattan from its long time headquarters in midtown, which is growing more crowded and less chic, as neighborhoods in outer boroughs (like Sunset Park) become more attractive to younger, newer businesses.
Additional testaments to the growth in the area is the focus on residential properties in addition to the office and popular retail space. One developer, Jamestown, had planned to develop college dorms to house NYU and CUNY students, since both institutions had been expected to use space in one of the developments 16 buildings as educational facilities, including a startup incubator. The dorm would’ve spanned more than For now, plans have been cancelled, but there are no anticipated changes to the plan to build hotels and additional retail space, in the 10 year renovation plan.
Further benefits of this project include new jobs. Since 2013, employment at Industry has doubled, according to AM New York, and majority of them are Sunset Park residents or those from nearby areas. This is keeping with the trend of Brooklyn being a hub for job growth, more than the other boroughs in the city, including Manhattan. More jobs in the neighborhood create a situation in which industry can directly affect the livelihood of the residents as a part of the community. Everyone will be watching to see what’s next for the $1 billion project.