Beginning with our The Big Squeeze report in 1999, we have consistently focused attention on the serious shortage of inhabitable manufacturing space in the five boroughs and called on city officials to address this problem, which has caused even the most successful manufacturers to flee the city. One of our studies, The Final Frontier for Manufacturers, specifically urged the Bloomberg administration to help redevelop two vacant government warehouses in Sunset Park—the "Federal Building" and an empty building at the Brooklyn Army Terminal—as a way of creating more than a million square feet of space for manufacturers.
Several of our ideas influenced a package of 22 proposals to strengthen the city's industrial sector that was announced this week by Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. For instance, the first set of proposals is focused on increasing "access to modern industrial space." They include plans to develop the Federal Building for light manufacturing and renovate a large block of empty space at the Brooklyn Army Terminal into small units for industrial firms.