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Industry City spent millions lobbying for delayed rezoning

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Developers spent more than $2 million to lobby for the now-delayed Industry City rezoning

Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Nathan Kensinger

The developers behind Industry City spend more than $2 million lobbying a rezoning for their industrial complex—but it still wasn’t enough to stop their plans from being delayed, PincusCo reports.

Industry City’s owner—a partnership between Jamestown, Belvedere Capital, and Angelo, Gordon & Co.—sought a rezoning to reshape its 16-building campus in Sunset Park’s Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Zone. But days after the complex applied for the rezoning, local City Council member Carlos Menchaca demanded they delay the plans for more time to review the proposal. Industry City’s CEO said he was “extremely disappointed” at calls to postpone, but the company acquiesced and withdrew its application.

The delay comes after Industry City engaged with the community years in advance of a formal application and sank more than $2 million into five lobbying firms—Capalino+Company, 99 Solutions, HR&A Advisors, Yoswein New York, and the MirRam Group—to push for the rezoning, according to PincusCo.

But the lobbying efforts, which began in earnest in summer 2014, weren’t able to sway local elected officials and Brooklyn Community Board 7. The board has hired experts to evaluate Industry City’s proposal—not long after the complex filed initial environmental assessment documents with the city in September 2017—but they are in the early stages of their review and require more time, local pols argued.

The procedural bump in the road has delayed but not killed the rezoning. A spokesperson for Menchaca’s office said the crux of the issue was that Industry City did not formally disclose its plan for the area until 2017.

“It doesn’t make sense to begin ULURP when the idea has only been on paper for more than a year and the community just started a more comprehensive evaluation,” Anthony Chiarito, a spokesperson for Menchaca’s office, told Curbed.