Council approves expansion plans for Acme Smoked Fish
Beloved Greenpoint mainstay will stay in area, retaining union jobs
One of Brooklyn’s oldest manufacturers, Acme Smoked Fish, will remain in Greenpoint, serving as the anchor tenant in a new $550 million mixed-use development approved on Thursday by the full New York City Council.
The retention of Acme’s workforce, which includes more than 100 union members, and the creation of as many as 2,000 jobs in the development’s commercial component will boost the city’s economy, still reeling from the financial fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A major step forward for ushering the city’s recovery, the proposal encompasses Acme’s new standalone factory — a four-story, approximately 95,300-square-foot fish smoking and packaging plant — and an adjacent nine-story, 454,600-square-foot commercial development with open workspaces, abundant natural light, unobstructed water and Manhattan views. It also will contain 33,800 square feet of ground-floor neighborhood retail space.
The project will also serve as a pedestrian-friendly gateway for the Greenpoint and Williamsburg communities, adding about a half-acre of tree-lined open space to link McCarren Park and the future Bushwick Inlet Park.
Rubenstein Partners, the developer, and Gensler, the architectural firm, who collaborated on the nearby 25 Kent office and manufacturing building, are working together again on this project, dubbed “10 Wythe” for its 3-acre location on the block bounded by Wythe Avenue, Gem Street, Banker Street and Meserole Avenue.
“From its skilled workforce to its vibrant culture, being in Brooklyn has always been central to this company’s success, and we’re thrilled to now have the opportunity to not only remain here in the borough, but to also expand our operations as we continue to grow with the neighborhood we’ve called home for generations,” said Adam Caslow, co-CEO and fourth-generation owner of Acme Smoked Fish.
Caslow continued, “We’re thankful for Councilmember Levin’s thoughtful consideration of this plan, and we look forward to continuing to work with the council member and the rest of the surrounding community to ensure Acme Smoked Fish remains the neighborhood partner we’ve always strived to be.”
“We applaud Councilmember [Stephen] Levin and his colleagues in the City Council for their approval of this innovative plan that keeps Acme Smoked Fish in Brooklyn, retains more than 100 good, union manufacturing jobs, and paves the way for thousands of more jobs through compatible commercial development,” said Stu Little, the New York City representative for Rubenstein Partners, the project’s developer.
“Acme Smoked Fish has been an integral partner in our community now for four generations,” said Councilmember Levin, who represents the area. “It supports more than 100 good union jobs, and is a great source of pride that Brooklynites share with people all around the world who love their smoked fish products.”
“Our small business community has been walloped by COVID-19, and though the impacts have been inequitably distributed, few businesses have been spared from the economic fallout. … Acme Smoked Fish’s expanded facility will help boost local employment, while accommodating growth that is critical to helping Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and New York City thrive,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
Community groups, labor advocates, non-profit organizations, and economic development entities lauded the plan and the Council’s approval.
“Helping Acme grow, is helping New York City manufacturing grow,” said Leah Archibald, executive director of Evergreen Exchange, North Brooklyn’s leading industrial and manufacturing advocate. “This project is the gold standard for how we can preserve and grow industrial uses in the 21st century economy, while growing economic equity locally.”
“The success of this borough’s manufacturing sector and continuance of good paying jobs that support area residents depends on innovative solutions like the one that will keep Acme Smoked Fish in Brooklyn,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the borough’s leading economic development and small business advocate. “Approving this plan is good for driving business in Brooklyn and creating economic opportunities that benefit the community. Plain and simple.”
Acme’s products include smoked salmon; other smoked fish products, such as kippered salmon and pre-packed whitefish; fish salads, including whitefish and baked salmon salad; and jarred herring of various types. It also has other items, such as pastrami smoked salmon and gravlax smoked salmon, that are available as part of its “collections,” or assortments. A 2018 article on the MyRecipes website said, “When you get lox on a bagel in New York, chances are that the fish came from Acme.”
The company also sponsors a weekly “Fish Friday” program in which consumers can order a selection of the company’s smoked fish, then pick it up in a “curbside pickup” arrangement at Acme’s current headquarters on Gem Street, also in Greenpoint.
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