From cars to computers, it seems like 3D printing is the manufacturing wave of the future. Many think we’re on the edge of a tectonic shift in how stuff is made that will be comparable in transformative impact to the Industrial Revolution. If that’s the case, New York City is already positioning itself as a leader in this fledgling sector: recently, Shapeways, a Netherlands-based 3D printer secured two leases, one in Long Island City, the other on Park Avenue South.
The leases come a year after another 3D printing company – MakerBot, which actually manufactures 3D printing equipment – signed a 35,000-square-foot lease for space in downtown Brooklyn. But unlike MakerBot, Shapeways is a service printer and – with its own equipment it contracts out to clients on a project-by-project basis – it can manufacture nearly any product you can imagine, from iPhone cases to jewelry.
Shapeways has some significant backing – it recently raised $10 million from Lux Capital and Union Square Ventures, which is why it considered a Manhattan office presence critical to remain close to its financiers and other sources of future capital. The company’s Long Island City lease is for 25,000 square feet on the second floor of a three-story warehouse at 30-02 48th Avenue in Long Island City (pictured), where Shapeways will manufacture consumer products for clients. At 419 Park Avenue South, 6000 square feet on the eighth floor will be dedicated to front-office and sales personnel.
By dividing its operations across the two boroughs, Shapeways was able to take advantage of both lower leasing costs in Queens and the city’s REAP program, which provides a $3000 per employee tax deduction. Asking rents for the 10-year Long Island City lease were $15 per square foot.