BY SARA KREVOY
State and city officials joined Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) in January for the opening of the Ozone Park Industrial Center, a new space that will house local entrepreneurs like woodworkers, artisans and makers.
The project includes the $42 million rehabilitation of a 113-year-old factory, making GMDC’s investment one of the largest in the recent history of Ozone Park. Spread over three buildings, the Industrial Center has 85,000 square feet of flexible manufacturing units leasable to more than two dozen small and midsize businesses.
Originally built in 1906, the lot previously served as the Spear & Company Factory, producing hats and wax novelty items. The building later transitioned into the headquarters for the Worskman bicycle company. It is now listed as a historic place both by the state and nationally.
Calculated to provide 80 jobs, the project is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to revitalize New York’s manufacturing sector. Nearly two-thirds of construction workers employed for the project live in Brooklyn and Queens.
“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,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “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.”
In addition to nearly $11 million in funding from the state, including a grant from Empire State Development, federal historic preservation tax credits and money from NYSERDA to put toward solar power installations, the GMDC Ozone Park Industrial Center was also supported by the city’s Industrial Developer Fund and Industrial Development Agency.
GMDC is one of the city’s largest non-profit industrial developers, having completed eight similar undertakings in Brooklyn. The GMDC Ozone Park Industrial Center is its first location in Queens. Tenants are expected to begin occupying the space in the coming months.
“Small entrepreneurs represent the best of New York City, combining the Big Apple’s creativity, energy, and hustle to build their own success,” said Winston Fisher, co-chair of the city’s Regional Economic Development Council. “Their work honors New York’s history as a manufacturing center, and by supporting this project, we are celebrating that important legacy while providing a foundation to help today’s makers succeed.”