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Shipping Container Art and Food Market Transforms Abandoned East NY Lots

By Gwynne Hogan | April 24, 2015 8:13am
  ReNew Lots , located adjacent to the New Lots Avenue stop on the L train, opened for business on Thursday.
ReNew Lots
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EAST NEW YORK — Part art market, part foodie haven and part business incubator, a new outdoor space built with shipping containers is putting a fresh face on two of the neighborhood's formerly abandoned lots.

ReNew Lots Market, located adjacent to the New Lots Avenue stop on the L train, opened for business on Thursday.

The roughly 17,000-square-foot space features 14 rental spaces carved out of shipping containers with dirt cheap rents. There's space for an art gallery and a garden and its founders are hopeful that the space will become a springboard for local entrepreneurs and a hub for the surrounding community.

ReNew Lots is the result of join efforts by ARTs East New York, a local arts organization, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

“Underutilized lots across the city have the potential to be transformed into key community assets, driving local economic growth and meeting the needs of individual neighborhoods," said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. 

Ten vendors currently have their doors open at ReNew Lots Market including clothing and jewelry makers, a Caribbean food joint, a photographer's studio, a screen-printing shop, a cafe and a popular chicken wing eatery.

The spaces currently rent for $400 a month and some spaces will be available to rent by the week or the weekend for $250 or $200 to encourage timid business owners to bring their wares to the community, according to the project's manager Athenia Rodney, 33.

Starting in May the space will host weekend events like “Soulbrunch Sundays,” and once a month a trolley will shuttle people from downtown Brooklyn to East New York stopping at some of the neighborhood's historic sites.

ReNew Lots is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m on Mondays to Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Visit the website for more information about vendors and upcoming events.