NYCEDC and New York City Council Launch Three New Initiatives to Support and Grow the City's Industrial Sector
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the New York City Council today announced the formal launch of three initiatives designed to support and strengthen the City’s industrial sector and help small industrial businesses stay and grow in New York City. Today, NYCEDC released a Request for Proposals (RFP) aimed at modernizing and subdividing industrial space across the City, fulfilling a commitment made by Speaker Quinn in her 2010 State of the City address. NYCEDC also announced today the hiring of Miquela Craytor as director of a new Industrial Desk, which will coordinate the City’s industrial policy development and program implementation, as well as the upcoming release of an RFP seeking the creation of new Industrial Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). The three initiatives are part of a suite of 22 industrial initiatives originally announced by the City this June.
“The City’s industrial sector, which, like the industrial sector nationally, has faced serious challenges in recent decades, now offers real opportunities for growth and development,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “These three programs, which are a part of our broad set of initiatives to grow industrial businesses across the five boroughs, are designed to capitalize on this increasing momentum, and will play a critical role in strengthening this important sector of New York City’s economy in coming years.”
“We at the Council are excited to provide the capital for the Small Manufacturing Investment Fund and help support the growth of the city’s small manufacturing sector,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “If we want to help our small industrial businesses grow, we need to make our city’s industrial space more conducive to 21st century manufacturing methods. This RFP will increase the amount of affordable, modernized industrial space while preserving these same spaces for industrial uses for at least 30 more years.”
“It is essential that we continue to nurture the potential of our Industrial Business Zones to ensure a thriving and sustainable New York City. The new industrial desk at EDC, Small Manufacturing Investment Fund, and creation of industrial BIDs are three initiatives aimed at improving confidence in the sector for future stakeholders, growing the industrial community, and reinforcing this critical sector of our economy,” said Council Member Diana Reyna.
“We must do everything we can to keep manufacturing right here in New York City,” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz. “The loss of manufacturing jobs over the last thirty years has truly hurt the middle class of our city. As chair of the Economic Development Committee in the Council, I am strongly committed to finding solutions to promote manufacturing and this RFP will do just that. The Small Manufacturing Investment Fund is a strong vehicle that will work towards this goal.”
As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to help grow the manufacturing and industrial business sector, NYCEDC formally issued today’s RFP seeking to award up to $8 million from the City Council Small Manufacturing Investment Fund for the purpose of subsidizing capital improvement costs for the subdivision and modernization of existing underutilized industrial spaces. The RFP is anticipated to help incentivize needed capital improvements and create appropriately-sized and modernized space for small industrial businesses, including manufacturers. Small businesses with approximately one to ten employees, which occupy less than 5,000 square feet of space, continue to drive the City’s industrial sector, though much of the available industrial space is too large for these users.
Awards will range from $1-$2 million per project, with the potential for up to eight eligible projects to receive funding. Respondents to the RFP must indicate how and why the funds are critical to making the project financially viable, in addition to other proposal requirements outlined in the RFP. Winners will be selected based on factors including, but not limited to: the amount of City subsidy needed per square foot of improved space; how quickly the space can be modernized and subdivided; the amount of private investment that the respondent will make in the project; if the proposed space to be modernized and subdivided lies within an existing Industrial Business Zone or Industrial Ombudsman Area; and how many jobs will be supported.
Miquela Craytor, formerly the executive director at Sustainable South Bronx, will serve as the City’s point person on industrial policy development and implementation and act as a liaison between the City government and New York’s industrial sector. Ms. Craytor has over 8 years of urban planning experience and is a nationally-recognized advocate for using sustainable development to address reinvestment in under-served communities. She also served as the Senior Planner for Economic Development in the economic arm of the Bronx Borough President's office. Ms. Craytor received her BA in planning, public policy, and management from the Honors College at the University of Oregon, and her MS in city and regional planning from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. She is a 2010 Catto Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Under Ms. Craytor’s direction, NYCEDC plans to implement a number of new initiatives aimed at improving communication and coordination between the City and industrial sector. Over the next three months the industrial desk will facilitate the launch of: an Advisory Council comprised of stakeholders of the industrial community; a public competition to identify innovative ideas for new industrial or manufacturing start-up companies; as well as driving forward the other initiatives announced by the City in June of this year.
In the coming days NYCEDC will also release an RFP seeking proposals for the creation of Industrial Business Improvement Districts (BID). To facilitate the creation of the BIDs, NYCEDC will make up to $300,000 available to respondents to finance their planning and development. The new BIDs will assist businesses in overcoming a variety of issues, unique to industrial communities. Respondents will be encouraged to propose services that benefit industrial businesses in innovative and dynamic ways. Additionally, the creation of Industrial BIDs will provide a sustainable source of funding in industrial-zoned areas and provide services tailored to the needs of the industrial community. Proposed Industrial BID boundaries must be located within M-zoned parcels in New York City, preferably within existing Industrial Business Zones (IBZs) or Industrial Ombudsman Areas (IOAs).
The City’s industrial initiatives resulted from an inter-agency review of the City’s industrial policies, led by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. The review found that while the City’s industrial sector has been declining in line with national trends of 8 percent annually over the past 10 years, there are certain subsectors showing stability and growth. As offshoring costs increase, it is anticipated that industrial activities will continue to grow nationwide. New York City in particular offers unique location-based advantages for industrial activity, including a population of about 8.4 million, access to a large workforce and highly-skilled labor, and one of the nation’s busiest ports based on import volume. The review also found that industrial businesses in the City are challenged by a lack of building stock appropriate for modern industrial uses, higher costs, and difficulty maneuvering City processes. Industrial sectors account for 15 percent of New York City’s overall private employment and more than 23 percent of employment outside of Manhattan, and industrial jobs have a mean wage of $67,000. In total, the 22 initiatives will revitalize, modernize, and preserve up to 9 million square feet of underutilized industrial space, and create and retain up to 30,000 direct and indirect industrial jobs, generate annual payroll earnings of more than $900 million and more than $150 million in City tax revenue.
Since June, the City has made significant progress on a number of its industrial initiatives. NYCEDC recently hosted “Manufacturing 2.0”, a business to business event, which highlighted new manufacturing enterprises in the rapid prototyping and fabrication sector. Additionally, NYCEDC is performing outreach for the development of the Industrial Business Growth Assistance Program. In October, the Mayor joined Salmar properties at the groundbreaking for Federal Building #2 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn—a project which will transform a vacant 1.1 million-square-foot building into a state-of-the-art industrial center that will support 1,300 permanent industrial jobs. At BAT, a 3.1 million-square-foot industrial property which already supports over 2,400 jobs, NYCEDC has begun a pilot program to subdivide 32,000 square feet of space into smaller units, ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 square feet. NYCEDC is also continuing to prioritize industrial uses of City-owned land through its RFP process, with a number of RFPs currently out, including one for industrial food-related uses at the Halleck Industrial Site in Hunts Point. With the Halleck Industrial Site RFP, NYCEDC is also offering financing through the Industrial Development Program which can provide additional construction and permanent financing, alongside typical lenders, for City-sponsored industrial projects. The City has also launched a number of initiatives aimed at supporting food manufacturers, including the first ever City-sponsored food manufacturer business expo and networking event held this fall, and the launch of a competition for New York City-based immigrant food manufacturers to participate in the National Association of Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Summer Fancy Food Show.
To obtain a copy of the complete Industrial Space Modernization RFP, visit www.nycedc.com/rfp. Responses are being accepted on a rolling basis with submission dates of March 13, 2012, June 12, 2012, September 11, 2012, and a final submission date of December 11, 2012.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.