Industrial Business Zones (IBZ) were created in 2006 to expand business services for industrial and manufacturing businesses. There is a proposal to modify the boundaries that already exist, making the districts larger.
Andrew Steininger, director of Economic Development for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, said the borough president supports the expansion.
Steininger went on to explain that regarding the extension of boundaries in Brooklyn, the borough president thinks that the commission should go “even further.”
“For instance,” he said, “the borough president recommends you extend the boundaries around the Navy Yard IBZ to include major buildings south of the Navy Yard, and west into Vinegar Hill and DUMBO to contain some of the coveted watchtower buildings.”
Steininger also stressed the need to extend zones to areas in Bushwick and Williamsburg.
But not everyone was pro-IBZ. Justin Miller, a resident of Red Hook, spoke out against the IBZ expansion in that neighborhood at the hearing.
“Everyone in our community wants mixed-use [development],” he said. “Even the people next door, who are concrete contractors, very industrial, want mixed-use. I haven't met one business owner in Red Hook that doesn't want mixed-use.”
David Meade, executive director of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, explained how important the zones are and also encouraged the commission to extend the proposed zone boundaries.
“We believe manufacturing is critical to the overall health and vibrancy of the city and the southwest Brooklyn community,” he said, before asking the commission to look into extending the IBZ to the Gowanus area.