One day after Pratt Institute announced the launching of a 15,000-square-foot fashion and design incubator in Brooklyn, the Daily News reports that an 18,000-square-foot incubator space will launch at the Willets Point development in Queens with the help of Related Companies and Sterling Equities.
The plan was reportedly part of a list of concessions that Related Companies and Sterling Equities agreed to when seeking approval for the one-million-square-foot mall next to Citi Field, pledging $165,000 to help fund the start-up costs for the entrepreneurial space.
“The incubator we are creating will work to recruit local merchants to set up shop in the new Willets Point,” the developers said in a statement.
The Queens Chamber of Commerce will operate the space, which will give companies a 30 to 40 percent discount on rent, free training and other services.
“You’re giving businesses a chance to learn the ropes while they’re actually conducting business,” Jack Friedman, the Chamber’s executive director, told the News.
The space could become a local food court, which would enable area eateries to share one industrial-sized kitchen and save on costs, could also house smaller, “ethnic” storefronts.
“If there’s going to be millions of dollars spent on getting people to come to the mall, we want to make sure there are stores that represent the culture of the neighborhood,” Mr. Friedman said.
City Council approved the Willets Point redevelopment earlier this month.