We previously reported on a much more modest grant that it received from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The larger grant was announced Thursday morning at the organization’s Sunset Park HQ, in Liberty View, owned by Salmar Properties.
New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen joined with CEO Bob Bland to announce the funding and partnership. Research, design and development will take place at the updated 160,000-square-foot facility, as well as providing manufacturing resources closer to home for local makers. A statement from the organization estimated that 300 jobs in 20-30 businesses are anticipated to be housed at the facility.
“Creating a comprehensive system of mentorship, training and support, while working together to solve 21st century problems in our supply chains and the fashion ecosystem, will bring long-term, sustainable growth to the New York City economy,” Bland said.
The innovation hub will include:
- A small-run factory specializing in sample making
- A research and development center to help develop new fashion and wearable technology capabilities
- A design accelerator to create an educated pipeline of fashion and manufacturing talent
- Incubator space containing 12 private studios, classroom space, conference rooms, a computer lab, an industrial sewing room, storage and work areas for 50 designers
- A workforce development center to help train skilled workers
“We are focused on making investments that are going to spur innovation, create good jobs and keep New York City competitive,” Glen said. “Fashion and manufacturing aren’t just legacy industries, they are rapidly evolving parts of our economy that are adapting new technologies and changing every day.”
NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball also heralded the new space, adding, “The creation of the Manufacturing Innovation Hub represents the nexus of our efforts to support two key elements of the City’s economy — the manufacturing sector and the fashion industry — and to develop Sunset Park as a hotbed of innovative business.”
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