The Old American Can Factory Logo


The Old American Can Factory is an historic, six-building, 130,000 sq ft industrial complex in Gowanus, Brooklyn that houses a curated community of appx 300 artisans, visual/performing artists, poets/writers, filmmakers, architects/designers, publishers, non-profit organizations and others working in the creative industries.

The (OA) Can Factory was developed by and is operated by XØ Projects Inc (XØp).


The (OA) Can Factory complex was built in phases between c. 1884 and c. 1910, first by Somers Brothers Decorated Tinware Co and after being acquired in 1901, by the American Can Company. By the 1930’s, though portions of the complex were no longer used for manufacturing cans, it remained in use by American Can Company through World War II. In the early 1950’s American Can Co. ceased all operations and the complex was sold. Over the decades that followed few tenants occupied the complex’s 15 large spaces and the buildings fell into disrepair.

In 1983, six of the seven buildings were acquired by the current ownership, and modest improvements were made to stabilize and upgrade the buildings. After a fire destroyed much of the rear mill building in 1989, XØp was engaged to design and oversee its restoration, and in 1991, relocated its office and studio to the complex. In 1996, XØp assumed an exclusive leasing and management role and named the complex “The Old American Can Factory”. In 2003, XØp began a gradual redevelopment of the entire complex with a curatorial focus and committed its ~110 spaces to serving the art, design, cultural and light manufacturing tenancies. XØp continues to curate, lease and operate The (OA) Can Factory complex.

In an effort to maintain a vibrant, cultural spirit at The (OA) Can Factory, XØp also produces and presents exhibitions, performances, markets, lectures and other cultural events in and around the complex, often in collaboration with other institutions and over the years has presented hundreds of such events to audiences of more than 100,000 persons.


In 2013, XØp initiated a comprehensive visioning, planning and design process in an effort to grow The (OA) Can Factory community. In 2016, XØp completed preliminary architectural plans to build more than 200,000 sq ft of new buildings while retaining all of its tenants and preserving the existing historic buildings. The expanded facilities would house additional office space for non-profits, publishers and designers, and also to accommodate work-live units for artists, artisans and other cultural professionals. A meaningful percentage of the live-work units would be dedicated to aging practitioners in addition to the significant amount of area committed for affordable housing as required by Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) zoning regulations.

The expanded complex would be known as INDUSTRIANA®GC at The (OA) Can Factory.

Additional information about The (OA) Can Factory and its future is available upon request.

For information about XØ Projects Inc, go to XOPROJECTS.COM