Greenpoint 4th-generation family biz gets green light for expansion project

December 9, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 on Tuesday voted to approve a plan to keep ACME Smoked Fish in the borough the manufacturer has called home for more than a century.

The plan will create a new, state-of-the-art 95,299-square-foot manufacturing plant on ACME’s current site, ensuring the longtime Greenpoint manufacturer has room to modernize, grow operations and retain over 100 jobs that overwhelmingly support local residents. The plan also provides new commercial and office space in an environmentally friendly streetscape development.

The hearing was part of the city’s public review process known as ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) and follows more than two years of planning and dialogue with community stakeholders.

A rendering of the expanded facility. Image courtesy of ACME Smoked Fish

“The outpouring of community support – from area residents to civic, labor, and business leaders – made it clear that a plan to keep a longtime, Brooklyn manufacturer and retain the jobs it creates is important to Greenpoint’s future,” said Jeff Fronek, vice president and director of investments at Rubenstein Partners, the project’s developer. “We’re grateful for the support of Community Board 1, and we appreciate the Board’s thoughtful approach in considering the merits of this plan. We look forward to incorporating a number of their recommendations into this innovative plan to retain good manufacturing jobs in the neighborhood as the public review process continues.”

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“ACME Smoked Fish has been a source of high-quality jobs for local residents for decades,” said Leah Archibald, executive director of Evergreen Exchange. “Their commitment to expand onsite and grow these jobs – high quality, good benefits, union jobs – right here in North Brooklyn, that’s putting their money where their mouth is.”

A rendering of the expanded facility. Image courtesy of ACME Smoked Fish

Eighty-eight percent of the current workforce at ACME Smoked Fish lives in New York City and nearly 60 percent of the workforce lives within two miles of the facility. The plan is predicated on a new mixed-use development model, pioneered at nearby 25 Kent, that includes the development of manufacturing space as well as space for additional compatible commercial uses to generate revenue that can offset the cost of building highly specialized, less financially viable factories.

The site encompasses ACME’s current facility as well as the entire block bounded by Gem Street, Wythe Avenue, Banker Street, and Meserole Avenue. The development will be nine stories at its highest point. Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

A rendering of the new facility. Image courtesy of ACME Smoked Fish

“This development is a key component to supporting continued manufacturing uses in North Brooklyn and will generate up to 2,000 commercial jobs, which are sorely needed as the borough seeks to recover from the current economic crisis,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The team has engaged with the community consistently over the last two years to arrive at the current plan which retains a long-time family business, enhances the local innovation economy, and provides for a local hiring plan.”

“The project’s partners have demonstrated themselves to be responsible employers with a commitment to creating family-sustaining building service jobs,” said Denis Johnston, vice president of 32BJ SEIU. “Working New Yorkers need good jobs with benefits like healthcare and training, especially now. That’s why we are proud to support this plan to give workers in Brooklyn a secure livelihood and a path to the middle class.”

“This plan is yet another opportunity to help build our city out of the economic crisis,” said Sinade Wadsworth, representative of the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters. “Now more than ever, we need plans that are shovel-ready and that generate family-sustaining jobs for New York City’s residents. The plan to keep ACME Smoked Fish in Brooklyn will do just that.”

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