10. Industry City is located in what was a temporary U.S. Navy base
Industry City is perhaps one of Brooklyn’s most touristy and popular areas, known for its dozens of eateries, specialty shops, and galleries. Located in the Upper New York Bay waterfront of Sunset Park, Industry City has been prized for its Japan Village, a film studio, Brooklyn institutions including Sahadi’s, and stores like St. Mark’s Comics. But the Brooklyn destination was not always so sought-after. The area and Industry City itself was in major decline for three decades after World War II, after which it was converted into a federal prison and shopping mall.
Decades before this redevelopment, what was then known as Bush Terminal was constructed in the late 1800s. Bush Terminal was the site of its namesake company, which was known for transportation, warehousing, and manufacturing. The Bush Terminal Railroad Company constructed a railroad that ran on the streets along Brooklyn’s waterfront. Bush Terminal was used as a U.S. Navy base during World War I and returned to private ownership shortly after, and 276 tenants were evicted from the buildings. However, by 1928, Bush Terminal had 35,000 workers, and operations remained relatively stable during the Great Depression despite an increasing vacancy rate. The federal government later took control of some buildings in the terminal during World War II, after which the local economy began to fail. The decline of the port hit Bush Terminal hard, though garment manufacturing was particularly successful on-site during the 1980s.