State officials and community leaders on Wednesday celebrated the grand opening of The GMDC Ozone Park Industrial Center that will provide affordable rental space to small businesses, artisans, makers and other local entrepreneurs.
Guests included Empire State Development (ESD), New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Enterprise Community Partners, NYCEDC’s President, James Patchett, as well as nonprofit industrial developer Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC), Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Councilwoman Adrienne Adams.
“I am so proud to have the new GMDC Ozone Park Industrial Center, a first-class industrial work space, in my district to increase quality industrial jobs and economic development,” Adams said. “This previously unused space has been transformed to a gem for the community that will bring quality living wage jobs to Queens residents.”
The new Ozone Park Industrial Center, spread over three buildings and spanning an entire city block, located at 101-01 95th Ave., provides 85,000 square feet of affordable industrial space that will be leased to local woodworkers, artisans, custom fabricators and other entrepreneurs. The building will house more than two dozen manufacturing businesses, providing approximately 80 jobs at the facility.
The project supports Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to revitalize New York’s manufacturing sector and support small businesses.
“The new GMDC Ozone Park Industrial Center builds on our economic development strategy by transforming a historic structure into space that will allow manufacturers to thrive in Queens,” Hochul said. “Supported by significant state investment, this project embraces our past and charts a course for the future focused on job growth, innovation and the continued rebirth of manufacturing across New York.”
The rehabilitated building achieved LEED certification and roughly two-thirds of construction workers were based in Brooklyn and Queens. It was originally built in 1906 as the Spear & Company Factory, and originally produced hats and wax novelty items. The building later housed the Worksman bicycle company.
GMDC, New York City’s premier nonprofit industrial developer, spent $42 million to purchase and rehabilitate the property, representing one of the largest investments in Ozone Park in recent history. It is the company’s first location outside of Brooklyn and the building is now listed on both the New York State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
“GMDC is grateful for the strong support the state of New York has provided to our Ozone Park project,” said Brian T. Coleman, CEO of Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center Local Development Corporation. “Funding from ESD, subsidy from NYSERDA and historic tax credits from SHPO were vital to the completion of our project.”
The project was supported by nearly $11 million from New York state, including a $2.1 million grant from Empire State Development, $8.8 million in state and federal historic preservation tax credits administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and $39,000 from NYSERDA to support solar power installations on the building’s roof.
“Supporting energy efficient technologies and renewable energy resources as part of historic renovations demonstrates New York’s commitment to fostering economy-wide carbon neutrality as we build cleaner, healthier communities for all and protect our natural environment under Governor Cuomo’s clean energy and climate goals,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO of NYSERDA.
The GMDC Ozone Park Industrial Center also received a $10 million grant from New York City’s Industrial Developer Fund as well as a $3.7 million loan through the Industrial Developer Loan Fund. In addition, $2.3 million in city property tax benefits were provided through the NYC Industrial Development Agency.
State Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “I am hopeful that the new project will create much-needed good-paying jobs, while helping to re-energize our local economy and re-purpose an empty factory. This project is a good example of how government and non-profits working together can produce positive results.”
Tenants are expected to begin occupying the space on a full-time basis in early 2020.