Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting his money where his mouth is.
The mayor unveiled his executive budget for fiscal-year 2018 and it calls for spending $136 million to transform the Made in New York campus at Bush Terminal in Brooklyn into a hub for garment manufacturing as well as film and television production. The campus is expected to support more than 1,500 permanent jobs, he said.
The budget also calls for investing $4 million into rehabilitating a building at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to become a start-up incubator, which would ultimately create 500 jobs.
Di Blasio had previously announced the planned investments, but they now are part of the official budget expenditures.
The Made in New York garment manufacturing will provide small spaces, ranging from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet, rented at affordable rates to companies working in patternmaking, marking and grading, cutting and sewing and sample making. It is expected to open in 2020.
As reported, the city is proposing moving some apparel industry firms to a new manufacturing hub in Sunset Park in Brooklyn where 265,000 square feet of dedicated space is available with an additional 500,000 square feet of industrial space coming on board this summer at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. An additional 200,000 square feet is expected to be available by spring 2020 at the Bush Terminal and there is also 2.4 million square feet available in the private market, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
The move is facing rising opposition from many Garment District companies who are against being “deported” to Brooklyn and are hoping the city will invest in the current fashion district instead. There was nothing in the budget for that idea.
The mayor unveiled his $84.86 billion budget on Wednesday. Many of the investments are targeted to education, public safety and affordable housing.
“In the face of continued uncertainty, it is more important than ever that cities make smart, targeted investments aimed at improving people’s lives,” de Blasio said. “We cannot respond to threats of funding cuts by pulling back on our own investments or values. Instead, we must continue to make this city a place where everyone can have a chance to succeed. It is our duty to continue building a New York City that is stronger and fairer than it’s ever been before.”