New York: New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and ARTs East New York today announced the grand opening of reNew Lots, a pop-up marketplace and artist incubator located on formerly vacant lots in East New York Brooklyn, enriching the local economy and cultural infrastructure of the neighborhood. ReNew Lots features food and retail from 10 local entrepreneurs, an artist incubator and exhibition space for four local artists, and diverse programming and events for community members, as well as a youth-artist apprenticeship program and neighborhood mural project that were launched to expand the project’s impact.
ReNew Lots has been designed in direct response to East New York residents’ requests for local economic development opportunities and was driven by community engagement. Located on two formerly vacant lots totaling approximately 17,000 square feet, reNew Lots offers residents a community gathering space and provides local entrepreneurs and artists with space and resources to thrive. In recognition of the reNew Lots grand opening, Mayor de Blasio has proclaimed April 23, 2015 to be “ARTs East New York reNew Lots Day” in the City of New York. Activation of the lots represents the City’s effort to provide economic opportunity to neighborhoods across all five boroughs through programs that respond to the needs and concerns of individual communities. The grand opening ceremony took place today at the lots at 175 New Lots Avenue.
“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. “ReNew Lots is a prime example of how engaging with community stakeholders and re-imagining these vacant lots can result in an outlet that showcases local talent and fills the voids of the community, creating greater opportunity for New Yorkers.”
“We are living in a new world, it’s the age of the innovator; entrepreneurs and creative thinkers are changing the landscape of how we live and do business, said Catherine Green, Executive Director of ARTs East New York. “While AENY prides itself as an engine for cultural and economic development, we also understand the importance of being a resource for our future leaders; we are committed to providing out of the box business solutions for the East New York community. With the assistance of the NYCEDC that is exactly what we are doing with our reNew Lots market and incubator for small business owners and artists.”
“Once again, community-driven development led by ARTs East New York has found an innovative way to repurpose vacant land to a higher and better use,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. ‘Through this partnership with EDC, a formerly underutilized space – a prized commodity in Brooklyn – will create training opportunities and jobs, while providing local food and retail services to a community in demand of resources. I applaud ARTs East New York and EDC for renewing the promise of New Lots Avenue with [re]New Lots. I look forward to the model spreading more widely throughout Brooklyn and across New York City.”
ReNew Lots is part of the City’s continued effort to engage community partners and develop creative ways to spur economic development in neighborhoods across all five boroughs. The idea for a pop-up marketplace stems directly from discussions with the community, which cited local food and retail options and artist space as potential contributors to economic growth and to the widespread use of public space in East New York. In suggesting the activation of vacant lots like the one now occupied by reNew Lots, residents aimed to increase consumer foot traffic and foster neighbor-to-neighbor interaction. ReNew Lots Market and Artist Incubator will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m on Mondays to Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Vendors and Artists at reNew Lots include:
On the second weekend of every month, reNew Lots will host “reNewal Weekends,” a free cultural event series featuring “Second Saturdays” and “Soulbrunch Sundays.” The first installment of the series will take place on May 9 and 10, featuring motivational speakers, workshops, panel discussions and children’s art workshops. The kick-off of reNewal Weekends will introduce reExplore East New York a historical trolley tour exclusively designed to introduce visitors to reNew Lots and explore landmarks within East New York. The reExplore East New York trolley will make stops at the African Burial Ground, East New York Farms, Nehemiah Housing and more. The tour will start at Brooklyn Borough Hall and conclude at reNew Lots, where participants can shop and partake in the weekend activities. The tours will take place on May 9, June 13 and August 8.
ReNew Lots is the second pop-up market to open as part of the NYCEDC’s effort to activate City-owned vacant lots for community use. In October 2014, NYCEDC and Community Solutions opened MGB Pops! on Mother Gaston Boulevard in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Located on a 2,500 square foot formerly vacant lot, MGB Pops! offers locally made clothing, food, accessories, cosmetics and more, in freestanding vendor kiosks and modified shipping containers.
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