Sunset Park’s industrial spaces were once the victims of urban blight and a dying manufacturing sector; they served as the backdrop for the tortured souls in Hubert Selby Jr.’s 1964 novel Last Exit to Brooklyn and were defined by high crime rates and poverty.
Now, the area’s isolation and wide open interiors are making it a party mecca, attracting revelers who enjoy the solitude of such marginal locations.
This Sunset Park two-bedroom rental isn’t going to peel anyone’s eyelids back, but it looks clean and spacious, with a charming Victorian feel. And it seems not badly priced, at $2,100 a month.
The huge gray cement factory buildings that span Sunset Park’s shoreline between 30th and 37th streets are the remaining structures of Brooklyn’s largest industrial park, Bush Terminal.
The complex was the brainchild of Irving T. Bush, the son of an oilman-turned-yachtsman. Today, these buildings are known as Industry City, an evolving complex made up of workspaces for Brooklyn’s creative economy, as well as future dining, entertainment and shopping destinations.
“A man about to commit a crime would stand appalled at the sight of a station house such as this,” the Brooklyn Daily Eagle wrote in 1892 of Sunset Park’s once splendid and now crumbling but landmarked police precinct station house and stables at 4302 4th Avenue.
In 1892, such a statement was meant to praise the building’s intimidating, castle-like features, but today it is equally fitting as a reference to the unfortunate extent of decay in what was clearly a once-beautiful structure.
One of the world’s biggest companies, e-commerce behemoth Amazon, is coming to Brooklyn. The tech giant, which has a bigger market cap than Wal-mart and is No. 35 on the Fortune 500 list, is opening a distribution center in Sunset Park.
Read Part 2 of this story here.
In the last few years, Sunset Park’s Industry City, a 16-building complex along 3rd Avenue, has become a hub for artist studios and manufacturing bases for local food purveyors and makers, as well as outposts of large companies like Time Inc. The complex has seen increasingly more foot traffic, too, with popular dance parties in the summer and now the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg through the winter.
Its namesake — industry — is still very much at its core. There are big things in store for Industry City, which today is run by Jamestown Properties, Belvedere Capital and Angelo Gordon, along with Cammeby’s International and FBE Limited, starting with a staggering $1 billion redevelopment plan that was announced earlier this year.
Instead of going toward high-rise luxury condos, this influx of big money is being used to renovate, repurpose and revitalize the massive complex, eventually bringing 20,000 jobs to the vast industrial hub that was once called Bush Terminal.
But how did we get here? It involves a man named Rufus Bush, floating railroad cars and bananas.
The Department of Homeless Services has confirmed Sunset Park’s Sleep Inn is being converted into a 150-man homeless shelter.
Sunset Park residents are upset over a homeless shelter that is allegedly operating out of a Sleep Inn Hotel in the area, apparently without any formal notice to the community. This letter from a nearby resident was posted on several private Internet groups, and a Brownstoner reader forwarded it to us.
In a new ranking of New York’s elementary school programs, Sunset Park’s P.S. 172 Beacon School of Excellence was the only Brooklyn school to make the top five for test scores.
The ongoing state of construction throughout Brooklyn is not only producing more buildings, but noise complaints, safety concerns, and many unhappy residents.
In a story in the New York Times examining real estate development-related stresses and complaints, three of four projects covered are in Brooklyn: an affordable housing addition to the Sunset Park Library (pictured above), the Pierhouse complex in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the ongoing development at the former Long Island College Hospital.