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Danish Shoe Designer to Open Workshop in Brooklyn Navy Yard

Shoe and leather goods designer ECCO will make Brooklyn its first studio space outside of Denmark
Building 212 at Brooklyn Navy Yard. Photo: Credit: Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

Brooklyn Navy Yard will welcome a trendy new tenant with the announcement renowned shoe and leatherwear company ECCO has signed a five-year lease for a space in the Yard.

The Denmark-based company will take 7,000 square feet at the Yard's Building 212 for a design and prototyping studio, the company's first studio space outside of Denmark, opening this fall.

ECCO Executive VP Panos Mytaros said the company was excited to plant roots in Brooklyn and would live by an open-door philosophy.

"We want to invite allies across the industry to join us in learning about materials, innovation and technologies all relevant to shoe and bag making," he said, adding ECCO had a manufacturing spirit, owning all its own tanneries and factories.

"[That] will allow for greater creativity at our Brooklyn Navy Yard location," he said.

Chief Development Officer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Johanna Greenbaum said the signing signaled the continued success of the Navy Yard as a new center for urban manufacturing in the United States.

"Over the last few years, the Yard has established itself as a leading destination for cutting edge fashion companies who are attracted by our unique ecosystem and eclectic mix of tenants," Greenbaum said.

She said Building 212, opened in 2019, was designed to be a 'maker space' for innovation and collaboration. It includes more than 130,000-square feet of manufacturing and creative office space and is home to design firms such as Fydelity, Kaimin, Poolside and Trendy Accessories, along with the city's first Wegmans.

Currently, the Navy Yard is going through a $1 billion expansion, which will increase the Yard's job total to 20,000 from its current 11,000. The expansion includes the recently completed renovation of Building 77; the nanotronics' high-tech manufacturing hub under construction in Building 20; the Green Manufacturing Center, which houses New Lab; and an expanded Steiner Studios, the largest film and television production studio outside Hollywood in the United States.

The Yard recently released a plan to add an extra 10,000 jobs in coming years and make the space more integrated within the local community.