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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.

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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]

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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]

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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]

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Even though the public review process for the redevelopment of Admirals Row has started, The Journal reports that the city has yet to acquire the land in question from the federal government. Negotiations for the property are ongoing, and sources say that in an unusual move, the government is seeking market-rate value for the six-acre site rather than simply transferring it to the city. It’s unclear what the property might be worth: Ofer Cohen of the commercial brokerage TerraCRG tells the paper that there aren’t many recent sales to compare it to. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. plans to break ground on the site next year for a mixed-use development that will include a supermarket and, hopefully, the preservation of one or two of the 19th century buildings on the site.
Navy Yard Is Lacking Land Deal [WSJ]
Wheels in Motion for Admirals Row Redevelopment [Brownstoner]
Photo by Barry Yanowitz

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At the Community Board 2 public hearing about plans for the redevelopment of Admiral’s Row a couple weeks ago, Navy Yard Development Corporation President Andrew Kimball was vague on the question of whether two of the historic buildings on the site can be preserved, but he was more confident about the matter at another hearing in front of Borough President Marty Markowitz last week, according to the Eagle. The paper reports that “Kimball…spoke of a commitment to historic preservation, noting that Building B and the Timber Shed — said to be the last of its kind in the nation — will be preserved and incorporated into the planned development.” Earlier this year the National Guard said both buildings were beyond repair. At the hearing last week Kimball also said that there’s been a lot of interest in the industrial space that’s going to be built above the supermarket as part of the redevelopment.
Support Seems Imminent for Admirals Row Development [Eagle]
Details Aired About Admiral’s Row Redevelopment [Brownstoner]

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Last night the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation presented its plans for the Admiral’s Row Plaza development at a Community Board 2 public hearing, saying the 75,000-square-foot supermarket that’s in the works will be one of the largest in the city. The two possible operators mentioned last night were Stop & Shop and Shop Rite, though neither has been confirmed. Meanwhile, the question of whether two of the historic, crumbling buildings on the site can be preserved, as originally envisioned, is still unanswered. Navy Yard reps said it will cost an estimated $10-$15 million to rehab the two buildings, and Navy Yard Development Corp. President Andrew Kimball said “the most economically viable options” will be considered. As for other details about the redevelopment, which is rendered above: Plans call for a floor for light industrial use on top of the supermarket, 79,000 square feet of retail lining Navy Street, and a community facility. The board’s land-use committee voted to approve the rezoning required for the development, and CB2’s executive board will vote on the matter next week. There was also a public hearing last night for the 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial District, which will require more commercial space in new 4th Avenue developments; the land-use committee approved the zoning amendment.
Wheels in Motion for Admirals Row Redevelopment [Brownstoner]
New Buildings on 4th Ave May be Required to Have Retail [Brownstoner]

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The only news about Admirals Row for the past several months has centered on how two of its historic structures may not be preserved, but yesterday there was word that the site’s larger redevelopment is moving forward. The Real Deal reported that the public review process for the proposal has begun: “If approved by Community Board 2, the City Planning Commission and New York City Council, the site will be transferred from the federal government to the city-owned Brooklyn Navy Yard and become home to a 74,000-square-foot supermarket, 79,000 square feet of retail space and 127,000 square feet of industrial space.” The $60 million project, rendered above, is supposed to break ground sometime next year. The public review process is supposed to take 7 months.
Admirals Row Redevelopment Finally Reaches Public Review [TRD]
Admiral’s Row Takes Big Step Toward Redevelopment [Patch]
Navy Yard, City Move Forward on Admirals Row [Eagle]

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NPR has an update on Admiral’s Row that looks into whether the Timber Shed at Admirals Row is reaching its expiration date. The story notes that despite pledges that the Timber Shed was one of two historic Admiral’s Row buildings that would be preserved as part of the site’s redevelopment, “at the end of last month, the National Guard Bureau sent out a letter saying its engineers had declared the Timber Shed beyond repair and recommended it be demolished. Kristin Leahy, the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the National Guard, said the Guard wants to turn the building over to the city as is.” Preservationists and even the CEO of the Navy Yard are not cool with this news: “Still, Lisa Kersavage, from the Municipal Art Society, said was shocked to get the news. ‘It seems to be the decision was based on finances instead of what they should have been focusing on how can they mitigate the demolition of some clearly very important historic buildings,’ Leahy said. Andrew Kimball, CEO for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, said changing the requirements could endanger the deal completely. He said the developer still wants to include the Timber Shed in the redevelopment plan. But he said they could only do that if the federal government acts expeditiously. ‘They need to stabilize the Timber Shed and B or allow us and our development partners on the site to stabilize the Timber Shed and moves forward with the site transfer,’ Kimball said.” Yes: Sucky all around. Once again, the National Guard Bureau seems to have sat on its hands too long, thus endangering a precious Brooklyn relic and potentially messing with the Navy Yard’s redevelopment plans. Not that this comes as a total shock.
On Historic Admirals Row, Fear That the End Is Near [NPR]
Preservation Groups Sound Admirals Row Alarm [Brownstoner]
BREAKING: Admiral’s Row Renderings Released [Brownstoner]
Timber Shed Gets Reinforced [Brownstoner]
Timber Shed Might Not Be Saved After All [Brownstoner]
It’s Curtains for Most of Admiral’s Row [Brownstoner]
Rendition of the Timber Shed by Lucy Sikes c/o NPR.

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Although the Timber Shed and Building B are set to be preserved and restored by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the transfer of Admirals Row from the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau could take a year or more. Given the Federal Government’s track record of inaction in recent decades, two New York City preservation groups are calling for special measures to be taken to ensure that the buildings don’t decay beyond the point of no return in the meantime. The Municipal Art Society is deeply concerned that a heavy snow this winter could cause irreparable damage to the Timber Shed, said Vin Cipolla, president of MAS. The Timber Shed, which once housed wooden ship masts, is the only remaining building of its type in the nation, and it is of exceptional national significance. Once stabilized, the building is imminently reusable and would contribute tremendously to the sense of place and urban design of this development project. The New York Landmarks Conservancy couldn’t agree more. “The National Guard has been woefully negligent of its duty and promises to stabilize and preserve the Timber Shed,” said Peg Breen, the Conservancy’s president. “Now that preservation engineer Robert Silman has determined that the building can be stabilized and eventually reused,” she added,” the National Guard must protect the Shed from potential damage this winter.”