By: Benyamin Davidsons
By the end of May, some half a million freelancers will be welcome to complimentary co-working space in Industry City.
As reported by Crain’s NY, the Freelancers Hub will take on more than 4,400 square feet of space at Industry City. The workspace will be open to any members of the Freelancers Union, officials said, adding that joining the union is free. The city is supporting the project in the five-year deal. “They came here because of what Industry City represents,” said Jeff Fein, senior vice president of leasing at Industry City. “It plays like a freelancers’ playground: retail, amenities, outdoor space.” Fein did not reveal the price shelled out for the lease. Generally, asking rents at Industry City range from about $15 to $40 per square foot.
The new space for freelancers is slated to open up in about two weeks. An official ribbon-cutting ceremony has been set for July. The aim is to fully integrate the space into the complex’s overall campus-like atmosphere. Industry City tenants would ideally collaborate with the incoming freelancers, providing services for each other. In fact, the furnishings for the freelance space is being completed by several of the complex’s design and retail tenants, Fein said. The hope is that the tenant companies will meet and hire freelancers from the space to fill their creative work requirements. In order to encourage such partnerships, Industry City often holds mixers and networking events. Fein added that most tenants at the complex have a majority of their employees back following the pandemic. “We are humming back to pre-Covid levels,” he said.
As per Crain’s, previously, the Freelancers Union had a co-working space at 30 John St. in Dumbo, Brooklyn which was open to all. That center was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all the related programming was done virtually. In 2019, some 34 percent of NYC workers were freelancers, according to the Freelancers Union. Because the percentage is quite high, particularly in the media and entertainment industries, “it is vital that we continue to support our city’s freelance community,” said Anne del Castillo, commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. She added, that it “will continue to be vital to our city’s creative economy moving forward.”
Historically a shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing complex, Industry City, located on the Upper New York Bay waterfront in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, was redeveloped beginning in 2000. In 2015 another $1 billion renovation was planned by the owners of Industry City to add some 3,300,000 square feet of commercial space.