City now owner of Admiral's Row
by Lisa A. Fraser
Feb 02, 2012 | 1618 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The transition of Admiral's Row from the federal government to the city has been finalized, announced Senator Charles Schumer last week.

The move clears the way for the area's first major supermarket to be constructed, which will bring in hundreds of construction jobs.

Schumer, along with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and other elected officials, announced the transfer of the property at the Brooklyn Navy Yard last Friday, January 27.

The property will now be turned over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) for redevelopment. In addition to the supermarket, plans for the site include new industrial space and the rehabilitation of the long-neglected, historical buildings.

The rehabilitated buildings will be included in the redevelopment plans for the property. The historic Timber Shed and Building B, once a residential home, will be included in the development and the aim is to transform the space for retail or professional office use.

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which manages the 300-acre industrial park on behalf of the city, will oversee redevelopment of the Admiral's Row site.

The transfer is the latest development in the project after the City Council's unanimous vote in December in favor of redeveloping the six-acre Admiral’s Row site at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The development of Admiral's Row will continue the expansion underway at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is all part of the yard’s largest growth since WWII, adding more than 1.5 million square feet of new space and 2,000 new jobs.

“An important aspect of the redevelopment of Admiral's Row is that it will assist residents who have much to benefit from this community resource,” said Councilwoman Letitia James in December.

She lauded the development of the supermarket as it would serve the local neighborhood, which includes 10,000 residents of Farragut, Walt Whitman, and Ingersoll houses.

At the site, a 74,000-square-foot supermarket will be created as well as 79,000 square feet of additional neighborhood retail space and 127,000 square feet of industrial space.

The project is expected to create 500 permanent retail and industrial jobs and hundreds of additional construction jobs.

“This is a tremendous win for everyone in the community,” said Alan Fishman, chairman of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “The tireless effort of elected officials and community advocates has resulted in the best possible use of this site and will have a direct, long-lasting impact on families that live in this area.”

Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of BNYDC touted the company's core mission of creating jobs for local residents.

“More than 20 years ago, the Navy Yard made a promise to the surrounding communities to transform Admirals Row to provide a major supermarket with fresh produce and groceries and job opportunities, today we are in the home stretch to fulfilling our promise,” Kimball said. “This will transform a tragic eyesore into a tremendous community amenity.”

When the Navy Yard closed in 1966, the Admiral's Row houses fell into disrepair. The houses remained vacant since the 1970s.

Earlier in the week, structural engineers were on site stabilizing the structures, and clearing and pruning the surrounding trees to prevent further damage to the buildings.

Construction is set to begin in the summer, once a developer is chosen by the BNYDC. A Request for Proposals was sent out last Friday, January 27, and is due back in March.

The designated developer will enter into a long-term lease for the site that now houses 11 dilapidated and unused structures, some dating back to the Civil War.

Once construction gets underway, the new space is projected to be completed by 2014.

In March and May of 2011, Schumer, along with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez and Congressman Edolphus Towns, renewed their call for the Army Corps to transfer the property as quickly as possible.

The recent developments, they said, represents a huge victory for the local community.

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