In a borough that is known more for it’s two-wheel commuters than four-wheelers, the arrival of race-car engine designer, consultant, and maker Ayton Performance in Williamsburg is a welcome surprise. DNAInfo reports that the company is moving into a “brownfield” lot on Metropolitan Avenue opposite the Nitehawk Cinema.
The “brownfield lot” initiative is part of the PlaNyC goal to clean-up and utilize all the previously contaminated land in NYC. Brownfields are either vacant or underused spaces that have been environmentally compromised. Businesses, like Ayton Performance, who decide to build and work on these lots receive both protection from liability relating to the environmental clean-up and economic incentives from the city and then can restore and use what were once polluted lots.
Really, though, this is such an effective initiative and a great example of business and community coming together to strengthen a neighborhood’s economic foundation. According to DNAInfo, Ayton Performance will “receive a total of $85,000 for restoring the lot.” And while there are definitely less high-profile and less expensive parts of the city to open up shop, the company’s owner, Ethan Bragner, said that while “he could have opened up shop in a smaller town for a fraction of the cost, part of opening in Williamsburg was about the chance to expose design-focused residents to the art of designer engines.”
Bragner went on to say, “Racing engines are a niche product, hand built and meticulously produced by people who really care.”
And, really, this does make perfect sense. If synergy was a word that I felt in any way comfortable using, I’d use it here! You can think of this simply as a race-car engine designer or you can think of this as yet another artisanal, incredibly design-conscious product to come out of Brooklyn. You can also think of this as an amazing opportunity to watch the documentary Senna because that is an incredible film that will tear your heart out and leave it on the racetrack where it will get flattened under the wheels of a dozen cars, perfectly-designed machines flying toward the finish line.
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