The Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation is a local economic development corporation serving Gowanus, Sunset Park and Red Hook. After the storm, many of the storefronts along Van Brunt Street were heavily damaged, and the commercial corridor was in need of an economic boost.
Utilizing the talent and services of local Red Hook artists, SBIDC created maps to guide local shoppers and tourists arriving via bike, foot or ferry to taste and shop their way through the up-and-coming neighborhood. The LDC also hired a consultant group, JGSC (include link), to conduct a market analysis of residents and local consumers to determine what types of retail and commercial growth would be most beneficial to the community. The JGSC data demonstrated that the area would benefit from more artisanal eateries & clothing stores—tapping into a local ‘foodie’ community and boutique shoppers. SBIDC used this critical feedback to invite potential business owners to tour vacant storefronts. This also motivated an event held in early December called ‘Discover the Hook’ where potential business owners were invited to tour vacant storefronts along the commercial corridor of Van Brunt Street. A holiday pop-up shop also showcased local artists in the vacant spaces to attract shoppers and to illuminate the potential of the spaces.