BROOKLYN, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Evergreen Incorporated: Your North Brooklyn Business Exchange (Evergreen) celebrated the opening of the Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center at 500 Stagg Street, a new $6.8 million manufacturing facility in East Williamsburg. It is named in honor of Wesley H. Watson, a beloved Evergreen board treasurer who provided financial expertise and counsel for over 20 years.
Evergreen is a nonprofit member organization whose mission is to support manufacturing in North Brooklyn. The redevelopment of the 10,000 square-foot facility was made possible with significant City and State investment. The new space, which will house three companies, will benefit local industrial small businesses and manufacturers, offering below-market rents, and helping create and maintain high-quality manufacturing jobs in the area.
“New York City’s economy is strengthened when we financially support industries that create well-paying jobs and career paths for all New Yorkers,” said New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic & Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. “I am inspired by the work and collaboration of Evergreen, our state and city partners, and the small businesses who will call the Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center home for years to come.”
“New York City has an innovative manufacturing sector that is always changing,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Our investment in this facility will provide small businesses at Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center with space to grow and thrive, along with the opportunity to bring quality jobs to North Brooklyn. We are proud to have worked with Evergreen, our elected officials, and development partners to work together to make this a reality.”
“Evergreen’s mission is to help small businesses grow so we can keep high-quality working-class jobs in our community,” said Evergreen Inc: Your North Brooklyn Business Exchange’s Executive Director Leah Archibald. “Our development of 500 Stagg will help us achieve that goal in two ways–by creating an affordable, stable home for three local manufacturers, and by investing any excess revenues into business development programming to help numerous other businesses in the community grow.”
“As New York continues to rebuild from the pandemic, strategic investments are crucial to re-energizing New York State’s economy,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President and CEO-designate Hope Knight. “The opening of Evergreen Inc.’s Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center adds to East Williamsburg’s industrial legacy and shows that manufacturing is alive and well in New York City. ESD is proud to support this project, which will boost local manufacturing capacity and create good-paying jobs, strengthening both the regional and state economy.”
“At a time when commercial rents in East Williamsburg are increasingly prohibitive for small or emerging businesses, Evergreen’s initiatives have helped to facilitate affordable commercial space, while also assisting in the retention and expansion of local businesses,” said U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velázquez. “In Congress, I serve as the Chairwoman of the House Small Business Committee and it is promising to see such robust, much needed, and well-paying manufacturing job opportunities being created right here in our community thanks to this project. I’d like to congratulate Evergreen for staying true to its mission and marking four decades by opening its fifth manufacturing facility. Evergreen’s steady leadership has played a vital role in solidifying the economic strength of the North Brooklyn’s industrial community. This project is extremely meaningful to the East Brooklyn industrial hub, and I thank EDC for working with Leah Archibald, Executive Director of Evergreen in bringing this project to fruition.”
“I’m excited to celebrate the opening of the new manufacturing facility at 500 Stagg Street, one I advocated for and worked with partners to help see come alive,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “This project is a perfect example of how we should be thinking about economic development in our city, retaining high-paying jobs to our communities and investing in new, beautiful buildings that will serve multiple benefits that help boroughs grow stronger.”
“Enhancing and maintaining our North Brooklyn Industrial Business Zones is essential to boosting economic development and generating employment,” said Assemblymember Maritza Davila. “I’m looking forward to the opening of the Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center at 500 Stagg Street that aims to create industrial spaces that are affordable, generating 20 job opportunities and continuing to revive and preserve the historic Industrial Business Zones that have been vital to the economic growth of North Brooklyn. Thank you, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and Evergreen Incorporated: Your North Brooklyn Business Exchange (Evergreen) for your steadfast work in this endeavor.”
“Never let anyone tell you manufacturing doesn’t have a future in Brooklyn! Congratulations and thank you to NYCEDC and Evergreen Inc. on the momentous opening of a fabulous new $6.8 million manufacturing facility in East Williamsburg, which will support good local jobs for years to come,” said Assemblymember Emily Gallagher. “What better way to celebrate 40 years of Evergreen’s essential work on behalf of workers and manufacturing businesses than the grand opening of the Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center.”
Evergreen acquired the facility in 2019 after receiving $4.8 million in grant funding through NYCEDC’s Industrial Development Fund (IDF), a citywide initiative that provides low-cost financing to developers to create affordable industrial spaces and quality job opportunities. The New York Empire State Development also contributed over $700,000 in capital grant funding to renovate the facility. In addition to the grants, Evergreen worked with a community-minded lending institution, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provided critical loan financing. Through NYCEDC, the project also received significant Industrial Development Agency (IDA) program benefits.
“NYCREDC’s support of the Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center reflects our commitment to regional economic development strategies that will grow the economy and create jobs,” said New York City Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Fisher Brothers Partner Winston Fisher and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Manufacturing is an important economic engine that will fortify the economy, enhance our local supply chain, and produce good-paying jobs both in New York City and across New York State.”
The Wesley H. Watson Industrial Center is projected to create at least 20 full-time manufacturing and support jobs once fully leased, providing economic development benefit to North Brooklyn. Evergreen will offer affordable rents, which must be at least 20% below market value, and is committed to creating one new full-time job per 1,000 square feet of space, at minimum. The facility will add to an already thriving industrial workforce in the area, where manufacturing jobs on average pay residents 29% more than local retail jobs, often offer health care benefits, and do not require English proficiency.
“National Grid is proud to work collaboratively with City and State agencies and Evergreen to help revitalize our communities, inspiring positive change to create a more equitable future for every customer and every community where we live and work,” said National Grid Vice President of Corporate Affairs for New York Bryan Grimaldi. “Our Cinderella Economic and Community Development Program provides grants, supporting local business from the ground up, and this facility reinvigorates a vacant building, provides energy efficient space for small manufacturing to thrive and high-quality jobs for the East Williamsburg community. It’s fitting that this building is named after Wesley H. Watson, a Brooklyn community stalwart and family and friend to many.”
“We are pleased to join Evergreen in honoring the life of Mr. Wesley H. Watson with this befitting tribute and the creation of an industrial center that will bring much needed jobs to the area,” said Brooklyn Community Board 1 Chair Dealice Fuller. “We also applaud Evergreen’s four decades of exemplary service to the Greenpoint and Williamsburg areas and thank EDC for providing programs and initiatives that invigorate and sustain manufacturing in communities.”
The ribbon-cutting kicked off Evergreen’s 40th Anniversary Campaign, celebrating four decades of keeping the manufacturing sector thriving in the area. The anniversary will host events and highlight services offered by Evergreen that include educational workshops on real estate, advocacy and governmental liaison work, and assistance with applying for funding opportunities.
The facility was constructed by Ambrosino Construction and four subcontractors, including Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) certified MB Mechanical and New Tech Contracting Corp. The construction consisted of completely new concrete slab, internal and external masonry upgrades, new utilities, roof repairs, fireproofing, and insulation. For leasing information, visit here.