The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced a 10 year, $51 million aid package to the cityâ€™s garment industry which includes â€œrelocation, expansion and other costs for businesses that want to move from the Garment Center to Sunset Park to stabilize and strengthen the declining industry currently centered in Midtown.
The package is backed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and the Garment District Alliance â€” is â€œthe largest investment in this iconic sector in New York City history.
The money will be distributed over the next 10 years to textile and fashion companies looking to modernize their equipment, and relocate within the city â€” with a focus on moving to Brooklynâ€™s Industry City, in Sunset Park.
Brooklyn is home to a few garment startups, including Bushwick 3D-knitting company Thursday Finest, manufacturers Makerâ€™s Row and a bunch of young designers at Pratt.
The announcement came two days after representatives from the agency officially unveiled a proposal to lift a rule requiring some building owners in the Special Garment Center District to set aside manufacturing space.
The city also laid out plans to lure garment manufacturers to Sunset Park â€” a neighborhood officials said could offer longer and less expensive leases for firms currently struggling to keep pace in the Garment District.
Today, there are approximately 1,500 garment manufacturing firms citywide, and about 30 percent of these businesses, or approximately 400 firms, are located in the Garment District.
These companies face immense global competition and real estate pressures despite preservation attempts, including rising commercial rents and an outdated building stock that fails to meet modern industrial needs.
The 10-year package will provide â€œrelocation and expansion support for companies that are interested in moving from the Garment District,â€ including grants to cover relocation costs and employee transportation, the city said.
It also includes an initiative that will dole out grants for businesses that want to invest in new machinery and technology, training programs for workers, and inter-business networking support.
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