A few years ago, Brian Coleman was leasing up some newly renovated industrial space at 1102 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. One prospective tenant came in looking for office space in a nice vintage industrial loft-type setting. After some back and forth, Coleman told him he wasn’t a good fit.
Coleman is CEO of the Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center. As a nonprofit, its mission is to create and sustain viable spaces for manufacturing—for businesses that make stuff—in urban neighborhoods.
The nonprofit’s tenants include Twoseven Inc., which builds store window displays, retail interiors, and showrooms for high-profile fashion companies in New York City and around the world. There’s also Designs by Robert Scott, which makes custom woodwork for kitchens, panel systems, and architectural built-in millwork, and Alchemy Paintworks, which provides spray coating services for art and industry, specializing in paint finishing for metal sculpture.
Some businesses have grown larger since becoming the nonprofit’s tenants—Alchemy is on its second progressively larger space. Twoseven Inc. is on its third. The nonprofit even sold one of its buildings to a thriving tenant.