In early 2017, the City announced its intent to lift the zoning protections in Manhattan's Special Garment Center District between West 35th and West 40th Streets in Manhattan, and provide incentives for apparel companies to move to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. For decades, the Garment Center’s unique combination of designers, manufacturers, suppliers, design schools, theatre costume companies and other highly specialized functions has created an extraordinarily vibrant eco-system that both inspires and produces fashion. New York’s fashion industry, which employs almost 180,000 people, is big enough to sustain a Manhattan and a Brooklyn hub, but it requires engaging all the industry’s stakeholders to develop a comprehensive set of plans to both strengthen Manhattan as the anchor and nurture a new Brooklyn cluster. Feeling that adequate planning and consideration had not taken place, during the spring of 2017 Pratt Center participated in a Garment Center Steering Committee convened by Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Corey Johnson and NYC’s Economic Development Corporation. The goal of the Committee was to identify strategies to strengthen the Garment Center and develop an alternative planning framework for nurturing the sector’s future in light of the real estate pressures of its historic Manhattan location.
Protecting Manhattan's Garment Center and a Thriving Fashion Industry in NYC