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.
The mural on the Sands Street Gate is getting bigger! Last week 15 students extended the mural along Navy and Sands streets as part of the Groundswell Mural program. Like the mural before it, this artwork is in celebration of the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The last student work day fell Thursday. It’ll take another week or so to finish up the mural completely. Click through for lots more shots. (more…)
The Brooklyn Navy Yard kicks off a new tour event this Friday, July 27th. These tours will give visitors the opportunity to learn more about Navy Yard builders, their products, and their business development. The first in the series features IceStone, an “eco-industrialist” company that has transformed 10 million pounds of waste glass into high-design countertops. Visitors will be able to check out the material, tour the production facility, and take a souvenir with them. If you’d like more details, or just want to buy tickets, go here.
Photo by Kristin Brenneman Eno
Downtown Brooklyn officials and property owners have been floating the idea of a Brooklyn Tech Triangle that would include Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard in addition to Downtown Brooklyn since April and this week took it up a notch with a call for a master plan that would connect the three zones physically in addition to marketingly (yes, we know that’s not a word). The call comes at a time when Dumbo office space is so popular that there’s none left while Metrotech, despite having recently attracted its first real start-up ever, is still a place that is shunned by the media elite; any easier sell, perhaps, are the prewar office buildings on Court Street. “When you’re a new start up with 20 people sitting at a big desk in a loft, that’s great,” the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s Tucker Reed told The Observer. “But when you’re more mature, you’ve got 200 people, more VC and corporate influence, you might need something a little different. Downtown Brooklyn offers both, and you’re still close to all your friends.” (Personally, we think they should call it the Brooklyn Tech Trapezoid and include the commercial blocks of Crown Heights where 1000 Dean is but what can you do!) The coalition has issued a RFP soliciting master plans from “multi-disciplinary consultant teams” that will consider placemaking, land use, transportation and infrastructure as well as real estate and economic policy. There will be an information session on July 20 and proposals are due to the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership on August 10.
Image from NY1
Work is underway on the $46 million Green Manufacturing Center at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Announce in mid-May by Governor Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and Borough President Markowitz, the New York City Regional Economic Development Council priority project will convert three World War II-era buildings into 220,000 square feet of LEED Silver-certified high tech manufacturing space. The multi-tenant complex, which includes Buildings 28, 123 and 128, already has two anchors in place: Body armor producer Crye Precision will lease 80,000 square feet and sustainable design firm Macro Sea will take another 50,000 square feet for its New Lab project that will collaborate with design firms and university programs. Funding sources for the $46 million project break down as follows: $6 million from Empire State Development, $7.5 million from the New York City Council, $2.5 million from the Brooklyn Borough President and $2.5 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Corporation financing the rest through the federal EB-5 program. On top of that, both Crye and Macro Sea will invest approximately $10 million each on their own build-outs.
More photos on the jump…
We missed it, but yesterday afternoon the new mural on the Sands Street Gate was unveiled near the Navy Yard. The theme of the artwork, done by 4th and 5th Graders from PS 307 and organized by the Groundswell Community Mural Project, is the celebration of the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Check out more shots of the sprawling artwork after the jump…
New Mural Going Up at Sands Street Gate [Brownstoner] (more…)
On Friday news dropped that the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation will invest $46 million to build a green manufacturing center in the Navy Yard, primarily in the massive glass-shingled Building 128 just inside the Clermont entrance. Job creation is being stressed as a certainty. Here are the full details from the press release:
Crye Precision – a premier designer and manufacturer of body armor and apparel for the U.S. military as well as federal and state law enforcement agencies – which was awarded $1 million through the New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process, has agreed to become one of two lead tenants at the new Green Manufacturing Center. Crye currently operates in four separate spaces at the Navy Yard, with 110 employees, and will now lease 80,000 square feet, consolidating multiple sites into one central location. Crye decided to expand in the Navy Yard after considering numerous options for consolidation and expansion, including New Jersey. The company’s expansion into the Green Manufacturing Center will create 100 new jobs over the next five years. Crye also has several commercial product lines under development; one uses locally recycled materials that are converted into fabrics. Crye Precision Executive Director Caleb Crye, said, “The Navy Yard has been exactly what our business needed to grow and we are thrilled that our future will remain here. We started here a decade ago with 4,500 square feet, today we’re up to 45,000 square feet with more than 100 employees and when the new facility is complete we’ll have a more efficient operation with room to grow and add at least 100 new jobs.” A second anchor tenant, Macro Sea, will lease more than 50,000 square feet for New Lab, a cutting-edge facility that will promote design and manufacturing innovation using the latest in environmentally-conscious processes and machinery. Through traditional tenancies and co-working spaces, New Lab will encourage the collaboration between design and fabrication by hosting a dynamic mix of designers, digital manufacturers, architects, graduate research facilities, and others in a hive of sustainable design and innovation.
As for the time line? “Major construction begins this summer and will take approximately 18 months to complete.” State and city subsidies will help the project come to fruition.
Rendering credit: Macro Sea
There’s an large mural going up now on the Sands Street Gate, courtesy of the Groundswell Community Mural Project. (Here’s our interview with the founder of Groundswell, Amy Sananman.) The organization brings together kids, artists, and volunteers to paint artwork around NYC. This particular mural is the work of 4th and 5th Graders from PS 307. It’s in celebration of the history of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be unveiled June 3rd. The Navy Yard’s Andrew Kimball, who brought the mural to our attention at a Community Board 2 meeting last week, also mentioned that the restoration of the Sands Street Gate, which has been ongoing for quite some time now, should wrap soon.
Five years ago, while on a tour of the Navy Yard, we learned of a plan to ultimately turn the city auction site on Kent Avenue into “a series of multi-story building with a mix of commercial, industrial and…retail fronting along Kent Avenue.” At the time, Navy Yard brass was predicting an RFP within the next year. Then the great recession happened and, we can only conclude, the plan was put on ice. On a recent bike ride recently, however, we noticed that the site had been cleared of all cars and other signs of auction activity which leads up to believe some kind of announcement could be in the offing. At the time, there was discussion of filling in the channel that comes in behind the salt pile. Wonder if that’s still part of the plan.
The mayor and other officials made appearances at a press conference at the Navy Yard yesterday for the ribbon cutting of five new sound stages at Steiner Studios. Via the official press release: “‘A little over a decade ago, New York City struggled to attract the lucrative production industry to film here,’ said Mayor Bloomberg. ‘Now the City is such a popular and prosperous home to hundreds of films and television shows, we have to work hard to keep up with the demand for stages and production facilities. These new soundstages at Steiner Studios will create jobs, and expanding our workforce development programs with new grants will help the next generation of production professionals start their careers on the right track.’” Steiner now has double the number of sound stages it did before, with the new ones adding 45,000 square feet of space. You gotta give it to Marty, though, who probably had the best quote of the day, as noted in the Eagle: “‘Forget La-La Land,’ said Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Steiner Studios and Brooklyn are ‘Hollywood East.’” And, finally, the ribbon cutting also came with news that the “Made in NY” Production Assistant Training Program, operated by nonprofit Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, will be co-locating its activities at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The program has a high success rate for training people to get employment as PAs, and the vast majority of its graduates are minorities. Numerous movies and TV shows film or have filmed at Steiner, including “Boardwalk Empire” and “Bored to Death.”
Steiner Studios Opening Five New Sound Stages Today [NYO]
Steiner Studios Opens Five New Sound Stages [Crain's]
Steiner Studios, ‘Hollywood East,’ Expands Facilities [Eagle]
Photo by Edward Reed via
Architect’s Newspaper has an update on the plans to turn a former cemetery at the Navy Yard into a 1.7-acre park. The project, which has been dubbed the Navy Yard Hospital Memorial Landscape, is being built out by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative at Williamsburg Street West and Kent Avenue. Here’s the description of how it’s supposed to turn out: “the site will be accessible to the public through a series of raised wooden walkways that will lead visitors around cement mooring blocks, stones, and native plantings that tie into the historical and material language of the waterfront, according to Vince Lee, project manager at [Rogers Marvel Architects]. Stone gabion ‘mattresses’ serve as footings for the walkway, which circumvents the location of former graves located in the center of the site. In honor of those formerly buried beside the hospital, steel frames proportionate to the size of burial plots will be constructed and elevated a few feet off the existing grade.” The space, which is being designed by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects and Rogers Marvel Architects, might be finished by summer 2013. On the jump, another rendering and a plot diagram for the project.
Brooklyn Navy Yard Design Honors Former Cemetery [Architect's Newspaper]
All images courtesy of Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (more…)
The deed for Admirals Row was recorded in pubic records yesterday, and it reveals that the city paid $2 million to “The United States of America” for the 6-acre site, which has an official address of 2 Wallabout Street. The deed also contained a couple other interesting tidbits. For one, it documents that one of the buildings on the site, #198, was demolished in December 2010 (it’s pictured above) and that some soil with high levels of PCB had to be removed from where the building stood; it also says that construction debris containing asbestos was removed from the area north of the Timber Shed last May. Not surprising, but the two pieces of information bring to mind that the developing the site will involve a not-inconsiderable level of environmental remediation. The other noteworthy thing included in the deed is a diagram of all the Admiral’s Row buildings; click through to see it.
Shedding a Final Tear for Admirals Row [Brownstoner]
Transfer of Admirals Row to City a Done Deal [Brownstoner] (more…)
On the heels of Friday’s ceremony at which Senator Chuck Schumer formally celebrated the handing over of control of Admirals Row to the city, Mr. Forgotten New York sends in this old photo of Building D, which is slated for demolition as part of a plan to bring a supermarket to this end of Flushing Avenue. (Building B, in the background, is the one former residence that is to be preserved. If you’re interested in seeing what kind of shape the interior of that building is in, check out this RFP. Lots of fascinating photos.) RIP.
Chuck Schumer is holding a press conference this afternoon to announce that an agreement has been reached to transfer Admirals Row from the federal government to the city. According to the senator’s announcement, the project will definitely involve the preservation of two of the property’s buildings, Building B and the Timber Shed (whether these two were going to be saved had been in question). The development will also involve the construction of a supermarket and industrial space.
City Has Yet to Acquire Admirals Row [Brownstoner]
Wheels in Motion for Admirals Row Redevelopment [Brownstoner]
As we reported back in May, Duggal Visual Solutions is converting the old Building 268 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard into its R&D headquarters. The high-end digital printer is spending $7 million to redo the 69,000-square-foot building. When we took another look on Friday, the building had most of its exterior and windows completed and was closely resembling the rendering on the jump. Dreams of a year-end completion don’t seem to be coming true though. Can’t wait to see how this turns out though.
Yesterday the City Council gave its blessing to the plans to redevelop Admirals Row at the Navy Yard. The plans call for a 74,000-square-foot supermarket, 79,000 square feet of retail space and 127,000 square feet of industrial space. The city is supposed to take control of the site soon and an RFP for the project is likely to be issued within the next few weeks. Two of the row’s remaining structures—Building B and the Timber Shed—are supposed to be preserved, contrary to the National Guard’s report earlier this year that both buildings had been deemed beyond repair.
Green Light Nears for Navy Yard Redevelopment [Crain's]
City Has Yet to Acquire Admirals Row [Brownstoner]
Wheels in Motion for Admirals Row Redevelopment [Brownstoner]
We just returned from the grand opening of Building 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and man, is it outstanding. The afternoon began with an outdoor ceremony and remarks from Mayor Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn and others. Major props were given to Navy Yard President Andrew Kimball and Board Chair Aan Fishman for spearheading the project, and both of them spoke and invited guests to tour the new facility. The museum is four floors, with a 22,500-pound steel anchor from the Austin dominating the entryway. On top of the galleries, which present a comprehensive and visual history of the Navy Yard, there is a resource center, learning studio and exhibition display. (Currently on exhibit is a photography collection from artist Christopher Anderson.) The Ted and Honey Cafe is up on the fourth floor, surrounded by glass walls and an outdoor balcony that overlooks the Navy Yard. There’s also green roof garden growing drought-resistant plants. Building 92 opens to the public tomorrow at noon and will host free tours, family events and prizes. What an exciting addition to the borough!
Navy Yard’s Building 92 Opening Soon [Brownstoner]
Building 92 on Track for Veteran’s Day Opening [Brownstoner]
Details on the Building 92 Solar Screen [Brownstoner]
Navy Yard Addition Almost There [Brownstoner]
Navy Yard Addition Glassy and Getting There [Brownstoner]
Building 92 Gets Windows as Addition Tops Out [Brownstoner]
Navy Yard Historical Center Goes Modular [Brownstoner]
Building 92 Restoration Continues [Brownstoner]
Work Starting on Building 92 [Brownstoner]
The Brooklyn Greenway Initiative and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation are working to turn a former cemetery on the Williamsburg waterfront into a public park. The proposal for the Naval Hospital Cemetery land, which consists of 1.7 acres on Williamsburg Street West between Kent and Flushing avenues, “calls for a landscape of native plants beneficial to pollinators such as bees, moths and butterflies that includes a large open meadow and a somewhat formal grove of trees all surrounded by a naturalized border of trees,” according to the Greenway Initiative. The property hasn’t been used as a cemetery for nearly a century and was used as a ballfield for awhile after that, though it’s now just a big, overgrown field. The rendering just released for the project also calls for some sort of theater and greenhouse. Rogers Marvel Architects and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects are behind the preliminary design and are giving a public presentation about it tomorrow night at the Navy Yard. The Greenway Initiative is looking for capital funding to get started on the project.
What to Do with That Old Cemetery in South Williamsburg? [L Mag] GMAP
For the past few days, two buildings at the Brooklyn Navy Yard that front on Flushing Avenue have been in the process of getting dismantled. Based on this map, it appears the structures in question are Buildings #312 and #592; both are located between Washington Avenue and Hall Street. We have not been able to get a comment from Navy Yard reps on how the demolition fits into the redevelopment happening there. According to the Navy Yard’s list of existing tenants, both buildings were unoccupied. GMAP