Like the neighborhood it helped to reinvigorate, the [Brooklyn Brewery] is thriving, enough to justify an expansion. But the gentrification Mr. Hindy once championed has made a hostage of his company, he says.
Double Edge to Brooklyn’s Success
He and his partners are willing to spend $15 million for a bigger brewery that would employ at least twice as many workers as he has now and would have a beer garden where customers could sample his growing roster of specialty brews. But after four years of searching and two failed bids to be included in redevelopment projects in Red Hook and Carroll Gardens, they have not found a suitable building in the borough at a feasible price.
Mr. Hindy has plenty of company in the hunt for affordable industrial land. Manufacturing space has become scarcer and more expensive as city officials have encouraged developers to replace crumbling factories and warehouses with amenity-laden condominiums.
“The scarcity of manufacturing land becomes a problem for manufacturers that are otherwise thriving in New York City,” said Leah Archibald, executive director of the East Williamsburg Valley Industrial Development Corporation, a Brooklyn business coalition.
Ms. Archibald said her organization “would do back flips” to keep the Brooklyn Brewery in the area. But she said there was simply no space available in North Brooklyn that would accommodate its needs, in part because some landlords are holding onto industrial property with the hope that it will be rezoned for residential buildings.
Mr. Hindy said the company could expand its local production to more than 40,000 barrels a year, and more than double its current payroll of 35 people, if it found a space that was large enough. But that quest has left Mr. Hindy feeling unappreciated by city officials.
He was a champion of the rezoning of Williamsburg and Greenpoint that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pushed through in 2005. But now he contends that the changes went too far by allowing a variety of nonindustrial uses of land in areas that are labeled industrial business zones.
Mistake by Hindy: Being a lapdog for the Bloomberg administration. That sure backfired on ya, didn't it?
Mistake by Bloomberg: This was bound to happen. As mentioned previously on this blog, they were talking about this back in 1999.