SUNSET PARK — A 55,000 square-foot Sunset Park building is being turned into "the newest food manufacturing hub in the city," officials from the Economic Development Corporation announced Wednesday.
The EDC is hoping to house 10 growing food companies in an annex building within the Brooklyn Army Terminal's sprawling complex at 58th Street near First Avenue. The agency has invested more than $15 million to renovate the building, officials said.
A much larger manufacturing facility in Building B of the Brooklyn Army Terminal is already home to Jacques Torres's 40,000 square-foot chocolate factory that opened in 2013.
The city welcomed its first tenant to the annex building Wednesday morning. MOMO Dressing will run a small manufacturing facility for its Japanese salad dressings.
MOMO Dressing launched four years ago and spent the past three years at a shared commissary kitchen nearby in Industry City, the company's husband-wife owners Masaki and Yukimi Momose said.
A year ago, Masaki Momose said he visited the building for the first time and found that it was "not clean and a little bit creepy."
But after the renovation, the company moved its operation to the 2,400 square-foot space in June and expects to "easily" grow its production capacity within the space, which will also be used for bottling and distribution, Masaki Momose said.
"We're finally ready to grow," Yukimi Momose said.
The EDC, which manages the property, also offers financial incentives for businesses that lease space at Brooklyn Army Terminal, including tax breaks and discounted energy programs in partnerships with ConEd.
Food manufacturing is a booming industry in New York and accounts for nearly 20 percent of total manufacturing jobs in the city, EDC President Maria Torres-Springer said at the official opening, attended by Councilman Carlos Menchaca and chocolatier Torres.
The agency expects to create more than 100 jobs through the activation of the annex building.
"One of the main barriers is finding the type of space that is appropriate," Springer said.
The building will be designated for food companies, such as small-batch manufacturers, industrial bakeries or shared kitchens, an EDC representative said. Four new companies are expected to move into the annex building by the end of the year.