Boro seeing manufacturing growth

Boro seeing manufacturing growth
Gary Buxbaum checks out one of his pieces on the factory floor in Port Morris.
Photo by Patrick Rocchio

The Bronx is up when it comes to manufacturing – and upholstery.

The newest example is the move into the borough of GBCUpholstery, a “to the trade” wholesaler of high-end custom-made residential, commercial and hospitality furniture that just moved its factory from Long Island City, Queens to Port Morris.

It could be one of many similar stories in the borough as residential development replaces industrial space in such places as Long Island City and parts of Brooklyn.

Owner Gary Buxbaum, who just signed a 10-year lease at 728 E. 136th Street, is happy to be a part of the borough’s renaissance.

“The Bronx is undergoing a rejuvenation,” he said, adding he believes Port Morris “is going to be the next hub with a lot of manufactures coming up here.”

“I love it and I think this area is fabulous.”

Business incentives

Right now, there are tremendous incentives for manufacturers to move to parts of the borough, he said, showing a number of applications for business tax credits.

Among the possible incentives are a “Sales Tax Exemption for Manufacturers” from the New York State Department of Finance and Taxation, the city Department of Small Business Services “Industrial Zone Relocation Credit,” the city Finance Department credit for commercial and industrial manufacturing expansion, he said.

The credits apply to neighborhoods that have industrial space that could be used for manufacturing, such as Port Morris, Hunts Point, Bathgate and opposite Co-op City in Baychester/Eastchester.

Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation president Marlene Cintron said she is noticing manufacturing businesses moving to the borough, citing businesses producing food, vitamin supplements, and medicine from places as far away as Virginia, with food manufacturing one of the growing sectors.

“Access to the entire region through transportation and bridges,” she said, “is also an incentive for manufacturers to locate here.”

Location benefits

Besides the incentives, the area offers great highway access to the entire region, along with nearby mass transit.

The location is also close to many GBCUpholstery suppliers, such as lumber yards – an important factor since the company builds its own furniture frames.

Founded in 1987, the company opened its first factory in Farmingdale, LI, later moved to Ridgewood, Queens, then lower Manhattan, before moving to Long Island City.

Aside from making it own frames, which is fairly unusual in the business, the firm creates sofas, sectionals, lounge chairs, dining chairs, headboards, bedding platforms, and upholstered walls and panels.

Buxbaum grew up in the business, with his family owning another upholstery firms on Long Island before he ventured out on his own and started GBCUpholstery.

The Bronx Chamber of Commerce welcomed the business to the borough.

“We are proud to welcome manufacturers to our borough,” said Lenny Caro, chamber president and CEO, adding “We hope this business brings job creation and much needed revenue. The Chamber is here to assist in their growth.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3393

More from Around NYC