Urban industrial tour

Urban Industrial Development from Brooklyn to Staten Island

At I.CON East: The Industrial Conference today, tour attendees had the opportunity to see New York from two very different perspectives. With an eye to the past, they explored the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal. With an eye to the future, they visited sites on Staten Island ready to embrace the nascent offshore wind industry.

The Brooklyn Army Terminal

When it was built in 1919, the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) was the largest precast structure in the world, shared Courtenay Green, vice president – asset management, for New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). The 55-acre waterfront and industrial campus – formerly used to stockpile military supplies in World War II – is now home to over 100 businesses making everything from gourmet ice cream cones to specialty spring parts. The 4.1 million-square-foot campus accommodates tenants of all sizes, including large anchor tenants, growth-stage businesses, food manufacturers and everything in between.

Along with the tenants you might expect, BAT is also home to District 20 Pre-K Center, and BioBat, a gallery space “cultivating relationships between artists, scientists, the community, and future generations of innovators.”

Offshore Wind Opportunities in Staten Island

Driving into Staten Island is surreal: the “Caution, deer crossing” signs, statuesque trees, even a former state penitentiary that has been converted into a film studio that has been the site of many famous Hollywood prison scenes.

The borough, the third largest in New York City, recently welcomed a one-million-square-foot Amazon fulfillment center and large IKEA facility. Jay Anderson, industrial business manager with the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation, pointed out the industrial/residential mix feels unique to Staten Island. At one point, he motioned to a small grassy hill along the side of the road, saying that that it marks part of a green parcel that will become a park five times as large as Central Park. “For years the other boroughs sent us their trash – now it’s payback!” he said with a laugh.

Tour attendees visited the island’s 130-acre Staten Island Marine Terminal, a proposed wind facility focused on staging, assembly and manufacturing. Staten Island is poised for major investment related to offshore wind energy – the island’s 115 miles of waterfront makes it uniquely positioned to support services related to wind energy, and the U.S. Department of the Interior already has plans to locate an offshore wind farm off the coast of Staten Island.

Offshore wind farms are under development all up and down the East Coast, but there isn’t currently port capacity to support them all. Ports that fit the bill must meet rigorous requirements; offshore wind components are extremely large and heavy. For reference, the average offshore wind turbine is about 850 feet tall. The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall.

As energy consumption increases, these wind farms have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to existing energy sources of nuclear, hydroelectric, and natural gas-fired plants.

Thanks to our tour sponsor: New York City Economic Development Corporation.

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This post is brought to you by JLL, the social media and conference blog sponsor of NAIOP’s I.CON East 2023. Learn more about JLL at www.us.jll.com or www.jll.ca.

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