Brooklyn’s first convention center debuts with historic showcase in Greenpoint

The brand new 25,000-square-foot Brooklyn Expo Center on Franklin St. in Greenpoint attracted about 4,000 visitors to its grand opening, officials said.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, September 15, 2014, 6:58 PM

Look out, Javits Center.

Brooklyn’s first convention center opened its doors this weekend to book and history buffs and will soon welcome top chefs and Jewish wedding planners.

The brand new 25,000-square-foot Brooklyn Expo Center on Franklin St. in Greenpoint attracted about 4,000 visitors to its grand opening, officials said.

“I was very impressed with the turnout for my first show in this new building,” said Marvin Getman, who organized the debut event.

More than 100 exhibitors showcased their fine furniture, artsy photos and first print books, Getman said.

And there are already other large-scale events on the calendar.

Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz at the show. TINA BUCKMANFormer Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz at the show. 

The expo center will host the 9th annual International Chefs Congress in October and “My Big Fat Jewish Wedding,” an amalgamation of Jewish wedding vendors, in November.

The center with floor-to-ceiling glass also rents out office and meeting space and has an onsite cafeteria.

It is the brainchild of Joshua Guttman, a developer who purchased the 14-acre site of the former Greenpoint Terminal Market for roughly $25 million in 2001.

The complex, mostly made up of abandoned warehouses along the waterfront, was largely destroyed by a massive 10-alarm fire in 2006.

Leszek Kuczera, a homeless Polish immigrant, was charged with accidentally starting the blaze as he melted copper for scrap metal, authorities said.

The new convention center.PHOTOS COURTESY OF BROOKLYN EXPO CENTERThe new convention center.

Since then, the site has experienced a slow revival.

One of the few remaining warehouses, 67 West St., has been converted into a trendy space for weddings and artists.

A building across the street at 42 West St. is being turned into commercial space with retail stores on the first floor and four stories of office space.

Many of the old buildings remain largely burnt out, including the tall factory at 60 West St.

rblau@nydailynews.com

 

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