AbelCine at Industry City

AbelCine’s Development Center at Industry City

Rich Abel and Pete Abel in front of AbelCine Development Center

AbelCine’s New York operation is expanding to Industry City, a vibrant, new community of artists, artisans, innovators, designers, businesses, restaurants, retail spaces, art galleries and factory outlets on the Brooklyn waterfront.

Industry City, view from NY Harbor, looking East.

AbelCine’s new 12,500 square foot Development Center is already up and running at Industry City, working on R&D, engineering, manufacturing, and systems integration. The engineering group, led by Jesse Rosen, Director of Technical Development, designs products in response to specific technical needs of the industry. Because of AbelCine’s position as an equipment provider, rental house, service and training facility, the team is good at identifying limitations of traditional gear and figuring out retrofits and new products to make things work better. AbelCine’s line of Cameo camera accessories and resolution analysis charts are good examples of this approach. With expanded design, prototyping, machining, and manufacturing capabilities in house at Industry City, AbelCine will continue to work with industry partners to bring innovative products to market.

Pete Abel, Jesse Rosen, Jonathan Epner, Rich Abel

AbelCine’s Solutions Group, also based at Industry City, is led by Jonathan Epner, Director of Market Development. They design, assemble, and stage projects including mobile production, editing, data management, broadcast, streaming and communications systems. With plenty of space to grow at Industry City, they’ll be able to take on more complex assignments and assist clients with projects in new formats such as VR and 360 imaging.

The Development Center is just the first stage in AbelCine’s eventual relocation to Industry City. Additional construction is now underway and will become AbelCine’s new home for sales, rental, service, and training—including interactive educational spaces and community areas. When completed in about a year, AbelCine will occupy an astonishing one acre (over 44,000 sq ft) within Industry City’s 6 million sq ft of interior space on 35 acres of the Brooklyn waterfront. But for now, it’s business as usual at AbelCine’s 609 Greenwich Street offices.

Design Within Reach Showroom at Industry City

Industry City is a vibrant, creative community, with 400 businesses signed up so far. Sixteen huge buildings are home to a growing number of technology and media companies. Time Inc. has a studio producing the car enthusiast show The Drive. The Australian equipment manufacturer Atomos will open their NYC headquarters in January. Aerobo has been modifying and renting drones from here since 2015. Prodigious, the production arm of Publicis, is opening a cross-media recording and post-production facility in the Spring. The Brooklyn Nets built their 70,000 sq ft, $50 million training center on the top floor of an adjacent building. Ikea and Home Depot are just to the north.

Industry City is being developed by Jamestown and Belvedere, the same group that did Silicon Alley, Milk Studios and Chelsea Market in Manhattan, and Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. The history of Industry City goes back 121 years. It was previously known to New Yorkers as Bush Terminal, a gigantic manufacturing and shipping complex in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, just south of the Gowanus Canal.

Bush Terminal, 1914. Courtesy of the Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard.

The original Bush Terminal was built by Irving T. Bush, descendant of a family that landed in New Amsterdam in 1662. The unique idea at the time was to consolidate warehouses, factories, railroad yards and ship piers into one operation. At its peak, the Terminal managed 25 steamship lines, 10 percent of all ships arriving into New York, 50,000 railroad cars, and 118 warehouses. 25 miles of railroad track ran within the terminal.

1958 Aerial view of Bush Terminal, Brooklyn, New York, looking north. Photo by Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc. and Frederic R. Harris, Inc.

12 buildings containing 300 manufacturing companies were completed by 1918. 138 miles of fire sprinklers ran through the terminal buildings, which were supplied by two power plants, a bank, restaurants, trolley system, and its own police force, fire department, and even a court to settle disputes. The U.S. Navy commandeered Bush Terminal during both World Wars. Harry Helmsley and a real estate group purchased Bush Terminal in 1963. It was renamed Industry City in the 1980s. 25,000 people, mostly garment workers, were employed there until the 1990s. In 2015, Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and partners announced a $1 billion renovation and development plan over the next 12 years.

Industry City and Gowanus Expressway today

It is an appealing place to work—with an eclectic mix of innovation economy, artisans and manufacturers. Fresh sea breezes, food courts, restaurants, a health club, temporary office space, and generous tax credits add to the appeal. They are repaving the streets, connecting the buildings with walkways, landscaping the courtyards to provide outdoor space, and cleaning up the waterfront.

Industry City’s 150 elevators are being modernized. They are larger than some Manhattan apartments, and open directly to freight entrances and loading docks. The Brooklyn Greenway, a 14-mile waterfront pedestrian and bike path, is underway and will connect Industry City to Cobble Hill, Dumbo, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Williamsburg and Greenpoint to the north. It’s a perfect place for motion picture production services, post facilities, and companies like AbelCine.

Directions: Industry City’s 36th Street Station is 1 stop from the Downtown Brooklyn subway station and 3 stops from Manhattan. By car, cab or Uber, get off the Gowanus Expressway at the 39th Street exit. There’s a huge parking lot off 2nd Avenue across from the Industry City Main Entrance

Hover over images for captions. Click to begin slideshow:

Leave a Comment

Tags: , ,