No quarter: Industry City nixes dorms — now locals want it to scrap hotels, too

Sunset parking: Industry City redevelopment hinges on public land for car lot
Courtesy Industry CIty

There is no room for the inn!

Industry City honchos have nixed a plan to build college dormitories in the massive Sunset Park campus after locals and pols complained that it would eat up much-needed industrial space. But local activists say they must also scrap hotels and retail stores planned for the site if they are serious about preserving the blue-collar area.

“Hotels are exactly the same thing,” said Elizabeth Yeampierre, the head of the Sunset Park advocacy group Uprose. “It’s just one of those things they’re going to use to say ‘hey, we’re doing what the community wants.’ We won’t really know if they mean that or not until they start moving away from commercializing an industrial area that is vital to New York City.”

Industry City announced the change of plan to Crain’s New York on March 10, claiming it scrapped the dorms in response to local opposition — but that it still needs the hotel and stores to help pay for the $1 billion it invested in the sprawling complex last year.

“One of the strong pieces of feedback we have gotten on our plans is that people don’t like the dorm component,” Industry City chief executive officer Andrew Kimball told Crain’s.

Bigwigs had planned to house college students studying tech, manufacturing, and engineering programs in the dorms.

The New York City College of Technology — part of the City University of New York — announced in September that it would offer job training at Industry City’s so-called Innovation Lab, an on-site employment center.

Industry City did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Dennis Lynch at (718) 260–2508 or e-mail him at dlynch@cnglocal.com.