Irwin Friedman & Son
Located on Banker Street between Nassau and Norman Avenues, Irwin Friedman & Son has been serving New York City’s heating and plumbing needs for three generations. Specializing in general plumbing, boilers, gas leaks, repairs and alterations, the business has been a staple of the North Brooklyn industrial community.
Current owner, Jay Friedman, has been running the business since the early 1980s, but its beginnings go back to 1926 in Jay’s grandparents’ house in Bedford-Stuyvesant. From their basement Jay’s family was able to grow the business, eventually moving to a location on Bayard Street. The business would eventually become Irwin Friedman & Son and move to its current location.
As the neighborhood has changed, Jay believes there have been both positives and negatives. The neighborhood has become much cleaner and safer, but new development has caused greater congestion and liability insurance costs to increase. Getting around the area with trucks has become much more difficult, while the amount of parking available has decreased.
In addition to heating and plumbing, Irwin Friedman & Son also offers fire sprinkler installations and Department of Building inspections. The decrease in manufacturing in the area has affected business as factories were a large share of the customers for fire sprinklers.
Jay believes the most difficult part of running his business is managing operations day to day and keeping up with accounts. It has also become increasingly more difficult to find trained workforce in the field. Overall, he feels very fortunate to have been just a couple of blocks from the North Brooklyn Waterfront rezoning of 2005. He hopes to stay in the neighborhood and in the future pass the business onto his son, who would mark the 4th generation of the family running Irwin Friedman & Son.