This morning a new kind of manufacturing center will open at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The space, called New Lab, is designed to bring together creative people who will be able to share equipment like three dimensional printers and laser cutters that would be too expensive for them to access otherwise. The project’s developer told the New York Times that New Lab should do for manufacturers what MIT’s Media Lab has done for technology. Already the lab is home to people designing furniture, projects for the MOMA Design Store and a motorcycle chassis. The small beta space that is opening today already has a waiting list. In mid 2014 the entire 84,000 square foot facility is expected to open and provide a space for up to 350 jobs. Work on the buildings is expected to cost about $60 million with another $20 million to outfit them. Manufacturing jobs have been disappearing in Brooklyn for decades but now that is starting to change. In the last three years 39 manufacturing jobs were added here, the only borough where such jobs were not lost.
Photo by MACRO-SEA
Check out these haunting photos of Admiral’s Row, the decrepit, historic homes along Flushing Avenue in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Curbed posted an entire slideshow after photographer and journalist Bogdan Mohora explored the grounds. The developer in charge of redeveloping this area of the Navy Yard, Blumenfeld Development Group, will demolish most of these homes to make way for a supermarket. Only Building B and the timber shed will be saved, with work starting up at the timber shed just last week.
Visiting the Crumbling and Eerie Buildings of Admiral’s Row [Curbed]
Streetblog Editor in Chief Ben Fried took the bike share program for a little test drive at the Navy Yard, where a small network of stations has been in place for a few months. He borrowed someone’s key fob and found the bikes “sturdy” and easy to adjust. “The riding position is upright, with a slight forward lean,” he said. “A twist of the right handlebar will shift gears. Second gear was fine for the mild rises and downhills in the Navy Yard. I tried out a few bikes and they all pedaled smoothly and braked crisply.” Docking the bike at the finish takes a bit of “a rolling start.”
Taking Citi Bike for a Test Ride [Streetsblog]
Photo by Streetsblog
Work began last Friday on the Timber Shed, one of two Admiral’s Row buildings that were slated to be preserved under a 2009 agreement between the federal government and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. (The other nine historic buildings are heading for the scrap heap.) After being reinforced back in 2011, the historic structure lay fallow while plans for a large adjacent supermarket fell apart under a cloud of scandal and got put back together again. More recently, there have been some questions about whether the shed was beyond repair. Andrew Kimball, president of the Navy Yard, assures us, however, that it will be preserved and the removal of bricks is just a part of the stabilization process. The stabilized structure will ultimately be handed over to the developer, Blumenfeld Development Group, who will perform the restoration to national preservation standards that will make them potentially eligible for historic tax credits.
Once a hub of wartime manufacturing, the Navy Yard will again serve as an incubator for jobs and technology, if the vision of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. comes to fruition. First up on the list is Building 77, formerly an ammunitions depot. It is being repurposed as “factory space for brainiacs and their futuristic products,” according to an article in the New York Daily News. At the moment, only 10 percent of the tenants in the industrial park are high-tech. Some of them have been working on “bomb-proof underwear and fake ‘fish’ that generate electricity,” said the Daily News. New tenants in Building 77 are expected to create 1,500 jobs in the next five years. Currently, the 300 or so occupants of the Navy Yard employ 6,400. Many are in the fields of construction, architecture, film and media, such as Steiner Studios. Who would you like to see working at the Navy Yard?
Techies Coming to Navy Yard with Futuristic Inventions, Jobs [NY Daily News]
Navy Yard to Start Work on Building 77 [Brownstoner]
Photo via Google Maps
The gigantic Wallabout property on the corner of Ryerson and Flushing right across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been snapped up and will be developed into a hotel as well as retail and office space, according to a story in The Real Deal. Buyer Ryerson Equity of Borough Park is in contract for $26.25 million, according to the story. “The buyer expects to lease three floors to an entity that will operate a 200-room hotel, two floors to an executive suites company, and two floors to a gym, while the ground floor will be retail,” said the paper. “The sale went into contract Feb. 27 and is expected to close in mid-May…The plan also calls for a rooftop deck and bar, to be affiliated with the hotel.” A bidding war increased the contract price slightly above the ask of $26 million. Hotels are going into every Brooklyn neighborhood now; it should be interesting to see what effect this development has on nightlife in the area. GMAP
Clinton Hill Warehouse, Slated for Transformation, in Contract for $26M [TRD]
Huge Industrial Site for Sale in Wallabout [Brownstoner]
The Brooklyn Navy Yard announces today that the corporation will begin renovation on Building 77, the largest structure at the yard. The million-square-foot, 16-story former ammunition depot is the last large building on site to be developed. According to the Wall Street Journal, the anchor tenant is “a Brooklyn-based developer and entrepreneur who is taking over 240,000 square feet for his own medical lab.” He will rent 180,000 of that square footage out to other companies, and will spend $20 million on the move. The Navy Yard will spend a total of $60 million on this renovation, their largest investment in any building on site. There are no renderings yet, but the building currently has no windows on its lower floors and the walls are more than two feet thick. The news comes as the Brooklyn Navy Yard begins on a much larger redevelopment process, including the restoration of Building B and the timber shed as well as a new supermarket.
New Project Brings Anchor to Navy Yard [WSJ]
Photo via Google Maps
On Friday afternoon local pols and the folks at the Brooklyn Navy Yard cut the ribbon at the Time Warner Cable Learning Lab at the Navy Yard. The facility is open to the public and meant to encourage job training and placement services. Located at the employment center in Building 92, the Learning Lab has computers, e-learning programs and high-speed Internet access. Time Warner Cable donated $65,000 to make it happen. Click through for one more photo from the ribbon cutting.
Photos by Shahar Azran Photography (more…)
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is large, and hard to get a peek at as much of it is fenced off and faces the water. We all hear a lot about new manufacturing going on there, but few ever get to see it. Well, the exhibition and visitors center BLDG 92 at the Navy Yard is changing that. Starting February 22, it will begin a series of tours of factories in the complex for the public. According to BLDG 92′s website, “Factory Tours explore the Yard’s development today as a model of sustainable urban industry, and visitors gain a unique opportunity to witness a resurgence of new and traditional manufacturing.” The first tour is of IceStone, a company that transforms glass from landfills into countertops. The tour costs $15. You can read more about factory tours here and the IceStone tour here.
Photo by Kristin Brenneman Eno
The scaffolding is finally down on the Sands Street gate at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Restoration began on the buildings in 2009. A wooden structure, built over the two gate houses about 40 years ago, was torn down in order to restore the original brick and marble design. There are a few exterior details that still need completing but overall those gates are looking good. The Brooklyn Navy Yard was hoping to secure enough funds to put bathrooms for the security staff inside the turrets but we’re not sure if that’ll be happening soon or not. Click through to see a historical picture of the Sands Street entrance to the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The Sands Street Gate Restoration Is Almost Done [Brownstoner]
Work Restarted at Navy Yard’s Sands Street Gate [Brownstoner]
Sands Street Gate Restoration to Proceed [Brownstoner]
Navy Yard Launches Restoration of Sands Street Gate [Brownstoner] (more…)
Tonight at 7 pm a performance titled “Siren Songs of Wallabout Bay” about the history of the Navy Yard and neighborhood lore, inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman, will take place at the Navy Yard’s BLDG 92. The event will include opera, folk songs and sea shanties. The building houses the Brooklyn Navy Yard Archive and exhibit galleries will be open during the recital. Tickets are $20.
Photo by –default
A Wall Street Journal article today reported that $738 million in state economic development grants were awarded for projects with the potential to create jobs around New York, with $51.4 million going toward 50 projects in New York City. The Brooklyn Navy Yard received two of those grants. The first is for $5 million toward converting the old hospital building at the Navy Yard into a media campus for Steiner Studios. (Here are all the details on the green renovation happening at the former hospital building, pictured above.) Another $1.25 million will go to the New York City-based real estate development firm Macro Sea Inc. They plan to establish a center at the Navy Yard’s green manufacturing building, although there aren’t any details on what exactly the center will be.
Job-Creation Awards Made in N.Y. [WSJ]
Photo by David Berkowitz
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. has chosen Blumenfeld Development Group to build out a 74,000-square-foot supermarket along Admiral’s Row with manufacturing space on top, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. Blumenfeld will also develop other buildings with retail and restaurants for the site. The company’s founder said they’ll be developing what is “really a suburban shopping center” and plans to negotiate with retail tenants in the new year. (In other locations, Blumenfeld has developed space for Costco, Target and Old Navy.) This is the second developer selected for the $60 million project — the first one didn’t work out after one of the principals was charged in a political corruption case, although those charges were ultimately dropped. Blumfield plans to break ground in 2013. There has been a little reinforcement work happening on site, but only two of the seven historic structures will be restored in the redevelopment.
Navy Yard Lands Developer [WSJ]
Here’s an interesting property just listed by The Manhattes Group: 29 Ryerson Street, a 220,000-square-foot industrial complex in Wallabout asking $26 million. The site is on the corner of Ryerson and Flushing, right across from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It holds an eight-story, 192,000-square-foot industrial building, a one-story 8,070-square-foot industrial building, and a parking lot separating the two properties. At that price, someone’s hoping the popularity of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and the growth of Steiner Studios will make a big difference for the neighborhood. According to the listing, the buildings will be ready and vacant during the first quarter of 2014. GMAP
Looks like a bit of work is happening at the Navy Yard’s Building B, one of the two buildings the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation vowed to restore. (The other is the Timber Shed, still badly damaged, on the corner of Flushing Avenue and Sands Street.) A construction fence went up around the site this September in anticipation of reinforcement work to come. At this point, the windows of Building B received some reinforcement but it doesn’t look like interior work has started up. This is the only one of the townhouses along Admiral’s Row that will be preserved in the large-scale development coming.
Construction Fence Appears in Front of Admiral’s Row [Brownstoner]
Check out the progress at 25 Washington Avenue, the future site of graduate film studies for Brooklyn College and the City University of New York. The schools announced they would open a film program at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard last year; the first class of students will begin in the fall of next year. Meanwhile, 25 Washington Avenue is undergoing a $90.5 million gut renovation that will transform it into a LEED-certified green building with soundstages, photo studios, post production and support spaces.
Film School Coming to Steiner Studios [Brownstoner] GMAP
The Brooklyn Tech Triangle Coalition is creating a master plan to make Brooklyn as welcoming as possible to tech companies. First order of business: The coalition picked WXY Architecture + Urban Design to direct the team of architecture, construction, engineering and policy firms that will design the master plan, the coalition announced yesterday. Technology employment in Brooklyn is expected to nearly double in the next three years, according to a story in The Real Deal. Right now, the Brooklyn Tech Triangle, which covers Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo and the Navy Yard, employs about 9,600 people in tech and produces $3.1 billion, according to a study by the coalition. The master plan will look at how to make real estate, transportation and other necessities more appealing to technology tenants. Above, WXY’s design for Greenpoint’s Transmitter Park.
Brooklyn’s Tech Triangle Group Chooses WXY to Spearhead Infrastructure Plan [TRD]
Photo by Inhabitat
The transformer area of the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been partially cleaned and secured and is no longer considered a Superfund site, according to a public document released earlier this month that seems to have gone largely unnoticed. A period for public comment started Sept. 25 and ends Oct. 28. Above is a Google image that accompanied the notice, identifying the location of the site — apparently the chartreuse pushpin labeled “224018A Naval Station Brooklyn Transformer Area.” A map from environmental web site HabitatMap, below, seems to show a different, but more specific area. “Remedial work began in the summer of 1994,” according to HabitatMap, which describes itself as a environmental health and justice non-profit. (more…)
It looks like the Sands Street gate, the entryway into the Navy Yard, is nearly complete. The tower on the west side (pictured) is almost finished and the tower on the east side just started going up. This project has been in the works since 2009, when construction workers removed the wooden structure that covered the original gatehouse. Since then the Brooklyn Navy Yard has been restoring the brick and marble design back to its original splendor.
Work Restarted at Navy Yard’s Sands Street Gate [Brownstoner]
Sands Street Gate Restoration to Proceed [Brownstoner]
Navy Yard Launches Restoration of Sands Street Gate [Brownstoner]
Last week a green construction fence went up in front of Admiral’s Row on Flushing Avenue. Preservationists can exhale: Navy Yard brass tell us that the fence presages work to be done stabilizing Building B and Timber Shed, the two structures being saved as part of the plan to redevelop the long-ignored swath of Brooklyn history. As you may recall, after years of neglect, the federal government finally turned over the six-acre site last January to the city.