GOING YARD: The 5,000-capacity venue, now known as Brooklyn Storehouse, began hosting test events about nine months ago. (Courtesy Venue)

TCE Presents and Broadwick have a 50% stake

Fans of fashion and electronic music might already be familiar with a 104,000-square-foot event venue nestled in the Brooklyn Navy Yards in New York City. Today, that venue is having its official coming-out party, with the new name Brooklyn Storehouse and sold-out shows by Justice (July 25), Charlotte de Witte (June 22) and Eric Prydz (June 7) already on the books.

A partnership between local New York promotion company TCE Presents and UK-based Broadwick Group, the 5,000-capacity venue launched as part of a test pilot with Ralph Lauren during Fall Fashion Week ‘22, creating the world’s largest runway show.

“We’ve been doing test events at this venue for about nine months now,” Broadwick’s Simeon Aldred says. “The guys have done a number of electronic music shows in the space under the test brand of Building 293, which is just the address. That’s been going on for a number of months. We always do that before we take permanency in any of these spaces, we make sure it fits right, make sure the sound works. Tuesday, we are ready to formally launch this as Brooklyn Storehouse, a hopefully permanent part of New York’s cultural landscape.”

Both TCE Presents and Broadwick have a 50% stake in the venue as a joint venture in New York City. They emphasize that they aren’t merging and are continuing their independent businesses, but wanted to figure out a way to collaborate as both have maintained strong relationships over the last several years.

The customizable venue is fit to handle productions and is equipped to handle varied productions including fashion and runway shows, cultural events, art exhibits, film screenings, conferences and more.

“These projects need partners,” Aldred says. “For Broadwick to just drop into New York on our own, that would be madness. That’s like me trying to do a spaceship on the moon, it’s almost as difficult. For us, it’s always been about finding the right partner.”

TCE Presents, founded by Brooklyn native Rob Toma, has long been in the Brooklyn Navy Yard; the company settled there 10 years ago across various warehouse properties. The location came up for grabs not too long after COVID, with Aldred and Toma falling in love with it during the first walkthrough.

“The space has an equal measure with the music and culture,” Aldred says. “Rob and I have a long reputation of using found spaces, and this space was definitely found. It used to be a big ship spraying unit, and it’s got a lot of history on that site. For us, it was just a magical space. The scale is unlike anything else. It’s on the water, it’s in Brooklyn, you can see the bridges. For me as an Englishman, it’s like a film. It’s filmmaking in its nature.”

The venue features 40-foot-tall ceilings, with Aldred and Toma describing it as a cathedral. There aren’t any obstructing beams in the room. Toma describes it as “so mammoth, it doesn’t matter if it’s video or real life. You still get the full experience of what’s going on.” He says it’s the largest warehouse he’s found not just in New York, but across North America.

When they first began talks of a joint venture, Toma looked at up to 70 warehouses across New York. The born-and-raised New Yorker says he hopes to continue bringing more jobs into the heart of Brooklyn.

Since first launching in 2010, Broadwick has gone on to become a premier event company in the UK. It holds some of the UK’s most prominent cultural brands including Printworks London, DRUMSHEDS, Depot Mayfield, Magazine, Field Day and more. TCE Presents has existed in New York City for the past decade and is led by the house and techno-focused brand, Teksupport.

While New York is traditionally a difficult market to break into, with red tape surrounding new venues, Aldred says that with Toma’s understanding of the market, and Europe’s own red tape, the venue build wasn’t all too difficult.

“It’s like any European city, you need to get it right,” Aldred says. “Permission is permission wherever you are. That’s statutory permission, which is the authorities, but also the permission of the community is really important. Those are processes, and they’re very similar to the European process. But, people want to do business… For me, it’s an attitude thing. The red tape’s the same around the world. As a British business, people wanted to talk to us. They’re interested in the partnership of two independents to create this.”

(This story first appeared at Pollstar.com)