Capsys, the building manufacturer responsible for modular projects like Carmel Place and the Nehemiah Spring Creek development in East New York, recently announced that it would vacate its factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and shutter operations entirely. While the company still intends to close the Brooklyn facility, it still has a future: It was recently acquired by Whitley Manufacturing, an Indiana-based firm whose modular arm has worked mainly on commercial projects, and will continue to construct modular buildings, including ones in New York City.
As part of the deal with Whitley, Capsys will move operations to one of Whitley's plants in Pennsylvania, where modular units will be constructed. From there, they'll follow a similar process to installation as they would have in the past, though the distance they'll travel will be slightly longer. According to a press release, a "large draw" for Whitley was Capsys's experience with building taller modular structures, an area in which the former company doesn't have the most expertise. "To date, Whitley's projects in New York have been generally three stories or less," the release reads. "Thanks to the Capsys system, they will be able to build much taller structures."
The move comes at a time when the future of modular construction in New York City is uncertain. In addition to Capsys's closing, the modular division of Forest City Ratner—which is manufacturing its B2 tower at the Brooklyn Navy Yard—could be facing layoffs. But, as Capsys general manager Robert Kullman pointed out earlier this year, the problem isn't demand—it's (shocker) New York City's rising real estate costs. "The biggest challenge is that New York City is an expensive place to do business," he told Curbed. With the acquisition and moving its factory outside of New York, Capsys may be able continue its work and even expand outside of New York City.
· Modular Manufacturer Leaving NYC Due to Rising Rents [Curbed]
· Modular Construction In New York City, Once the Future, Is Fading [Curbed]
· Inside the Brooklyn Factory Birthing NYC's New Micro Units [Curbed]