Schumer, Gillibrand, Bloomberg, Velazquez, Towns, Markowitz Announce Final Transfer of Brooklyn Navy Yard's Admirals Row Site from Feds to New York City, Clearing Way for Construction of Area's First Major Supermarket and the Creation of Hundreds of Jobs

Press Release

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer, joined by Borough President Marty Markowitz and local officials announced that the Army has agreed to transfer the Admirals Row property at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the City of New York, which will turn it over to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) for redevelopment. As a result of the transfer, the area's first major supermarket will be built, bringing high-quality, affordable food to thousands of local residents who do not have access to a major supermarket in the area. In addition, the plans for the site include new industrial space, bringing hundreds of jobs to the area, and the rehabilitation of long-neglected, historically significant buildings. The rehabilitated buildings will be included in the redevelopment plans for the property. The historic timber shed and Building "B', a residential home, will be included in the development and will be aimed for retail or professional office use. This past March and May, Schumer, Gillibrand, Velazquez and Towns renewed their call for the Army to transfer the property as quickly as possible and said that today's announcement represented a huge victory for the local community.

"The creation of jobs, access to quality, affordable food and reservation of key parts of the Navy Yard's glorious history -- this is truly a win-win-win for the people of Brooklyn and the families and seniors who live next door to the Navy Yard," said Schumer. "For too long, local residents in Farragut, Whitman and Ingersoll and parts of nearby Fort Greene have not had acceptable food shopping options -- but no more. This deal paves the way for one of the biggest construction project this community has ever seen."

"This is great news for New York City," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "The transfer of the Admirals Row site to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation will pave the way to bring much needed jobs and a supermarket to the area, all while preserving two important historic structures. I am proud to have worked hand in hand with the community and other elected officials to finally transfer this property after decades of neglect."

"The Brooklyn Navy Yard is an urban job creation success story if there ever was one," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "The development of the Admirals Row site will not only serve residents of the neighborhood by providing new fresh food and retail options, but it will also strengthen the City's economy. We couldn't have done it without help from Senators Schumer, Gillibrand and our great Members of Congress as well as the fantastic leadership of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. Congratulations to all."

"Not only will this project preserve a treasured local landmark, but it will also provide residents local access to healthy foods and create hundreds of good paying jobs, said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez. "It took time, but today's announcement is tremendous news for our local neighborhoods, Brooklyn and those interested in honoring New York's maritime history."

"I am proud to have been a key player in the persistence and hard work it took in getting the federal government to transfer control of the six-acre Admirals Row site to the City of New York -- and they in-turn, rendering that control to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation," said Rep. Edolphus "Ed" Towns. "I must say, this re-development could not be in better hands under the leadership of Andrew H. Kimball and the BNYDC. Every project developed on that site will now translate into meaningful and much needed jobs for the surrounding communities. The highlight, no doubt will be the construction of a major supermarket, bringing quality fresh produce and groceries to a community long in neglect of this vital service. Needless to say, this agreement will have a lasting positive impact for years to come."

In March of 2011, Schumer, Gillibrand, Velazquez and Towns called on the Army to immediately grant access to allow for emergency stabilization and quickly transfer the property containing Admirals Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation in order to pave the way for the construction of a brand new supermarket and retail space. The transferee, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, had communicated their willingness to undertake that work, but had been unable to obtain the necessary agreement from the Army. In their letter to Secretary of the Army John H. McHugh, Schumer, Gillibrand, Velázquez and Towns had called on the Army to allow immediate access to speed up its review process in order to ensure that these buildings do not deteriorate any further and can be refurbished before it's too late. Their offices maintained constant pressure on the Army, pushing the agreement to completion.

In May of 2011, Schumer, Gillibrand, Velazquez and Towns once again called on the Army to quit dragging their feet and immediately transfer the property to the City. In their letter to Secretary McHugh they noted that the Brooklyn Navy Yard was prepared to begin the development process, which would bring a new supermarket and retail space to underserved neighborhoods, and the Army should not get in the way of this progress. They also called for the cost of the transfer to the City be reduced in order to account of the investment on the part of the Brooklyn Navy Yard that would be made to stabilize and preserve the historic Timber Shed and Building B. Their offices maintained constant pressure on the Army, pushing the agreement to completion.

Schumer, Gillibrand, Bloomberg, Velazquez, Towns and Markowitz announced that the Army had agreed to transfer the property to the City of New York BNYDC, which manages the Brooklyn Navy Yard on behalf of the City. BNYDC will now issue a request for proposals (RFP) to seek a developer to create a 74,000-square-foot supermarket and 79,000 square-feet of additional neighborhood retail space, as well as 127,000 square feet of industrial space on Admirals Row. The supermarket will provide high-quality, affordable food to neighborhoods that have long lacked options for fresh produce. Planned industrial space will allow the booming Brooklyn Navy Yard to expand, fostering new businesses and jobs. The project is expected to create 500 permanent retail and industrial jobs and hundreds of additional construction jobs.

The designated developer will enter into a long-term lease for the site that now houses 11 long-neglected, dilapidated and unused structures. The plan includes the restoration of two of the structures -- Building B and the Timber Shed -- which will be incorporated into the new development. Structural engineers from Robert Silman Associates will get immediate access to the site to stabilize the two structures under contract to BNYDC. Proposals from developers are due by March 9th. The new buildings on the site will be built to the US Green Building Council LEED Silver standards and the site will incorporate the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. In addition to the renovation of the dilapidated Timber Shed and Building B, the project will include a commemoration plan to celebrate the site's rich history.

"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."

"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," said Andrew H. Kimball, president and CEO of BNYDC. "Thanks to the unwavering commitment by our elected officials in every level of government and to the community for standing by us all these years. The redevelopment of Admirals Row further supports our core mission of creating jobs for local residents and will transform a tragic eyesore into a tremendous community amenity."

"This is a huge step forward in fulfilling the promise and potential of Admirals Row -- a "win win' that will provide a supermarket of fresh and affordable foods in a neighborhood that is underserved, the restoration of two neglected structures to maintain the historic character of the area, the building of new industrial and retail space, and -- best of all -- the creation of much needed jobs," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "For all their hard work on Admirals Row, I want to "salute' Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congresswoman Velázquez and Congressman Towns, our local elected state officials, Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Steel, City Council led by Speaker Quinn and Councilmember James, Alan Fishman, Andrew Kimball and all of the BNYDC, as well as the community partners who helped make this day a reality."

"I am proud the City Council could play a role in this historic project and thrilled that the residents of northern Brooklyn will soon have access to a much needed fresh food super market," said New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "The creation of more industrial space for small businesses through this expansion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard will provide additional economic activity to an area which is sorely in need of jobs."

"Today's historic transfer of the Admirals Row site is the culmination of a process that's lasted nearly 25 years, but the Bloomberg Administration is confident that it will prove to have been well worth the wait," said Deputy Mayor Robert Steel said. "This development project -- which wouldn't be possible without the support of Senator Schumer and all of our federal partners -- will create hundreds of jobs, attract private sector investment and bring healthy, fresh food to the surrounding communities."

"The Brooklyn Navy Yard has proven that success stories exist even in the most difficult times," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "The transfer of Admirals Row means preserving two of our historic buildings and ensuring that new buildings help preserve our environment. All of Brooklyn will see new businesses, new jobs, and even greater revitalization."

"I am very happy we are here to salute the official transfer of Admirals Row to the Navy Yard," said New York State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. "Now we can be sure that two of these historic buildings will be maintained for future generations by the Navy Yard. The Brooklyn Navy Yard is building the future prosperity of our borough on our great history. We can value our past and look forward to expansion that will include a new supermarket, new space for manufacturing and creative industry tenants, and 500 jobs! This is a great day and a bright future for Brooklyn!"

"I join the community in looking forward to the good things planned for our neighborhoods at this site -- especially a new supermarket -- projects that will serve the community well and renew this area," said New York State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol.

"The redevelopment of Admiral's Row is exactly the type of urban investment that is needed," said New York State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries. "This project will not only re-energize the community socially, but promises hundreds of new jobs for working class families sorely in need of employment opportunities. By devolving federal oversight of the Brooklyn Navy Yard to city authorities, we have ensured that local needs, not distant bureaucrats, will dictate the future of this project."

"I am ecstatic to learn the transfer of the six-acre Admirals Row property at the Brooklyn Navy Yard from the federal government to the City of New York is finally complete," said Council Member Letitia James. "For two decades the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with the support of Community Board 2 and elected officials has pushed for redevelopment of the Admirals Row site, which is imperative to serve the needs of 10,000 residents located in Farragut, Walt Whitman, and Ingersoll Houses. It's exciting to know that the redevelopment will include restoration of two structures, along with industrial space and retail shops, a supermarket and hundreds of jobs. Also, as former chair of the Contracts Committee, I commend BNYDC's workforce and community participation goals, including contracts designated for local businesses and certified minority/women-owned businesses. This project can only be a huge boost for the local economy because it incorporates historic preservation with a progressive sustainable site plan...onward."

"I am excited that we have moved into the final stages of developing Admiral's Row. The planned green construction of a grocery store and preservation of the historic buildings at Admiral's Row will continue the revitalization of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and create 500 jobs in Brooklyn," said Council Member Stephen Levin. "I applaud the hard work of our federal elected officials, Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand, for their advocacy and leadership in Washington. I would also like to thank Andrew Kimball, Chair Alan Fishman, and the staff of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation for their vision and commitment to ensuring that the Navy Yard remains an economic engine for generations to come."

"The community board looks forward eagerly to the construction of the supermarket and other retail, as well as the new industrial space, and the jobs, many for local residents, associated with the development," said John Dew, Chairperson of Community Board 2. "I congratulate the Navy Yard for its persistence with the Admirals Row project."

"MAS strongly supports the Navy Yard's development because it will provide the community a sorely needed affordable grocery store and jobs," Vin Cipolla, President of the Municipal Art Society. "We commend the Navy Yard for their commitment to preserve two of the most significant buildings on the site. The preservation of those buildings will significantly improve the urban design and place-making aspects of the development. The beauty and uniqueness of the buildings will help make this development a Brooklyn amenity and destination."

"The successful transfer of Admirals Row to the City and the BNYDC's plan for the restoration and adaptive reuse of these buildings demonstrates that preservation and economic development are by no means mutually exclusive," said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney. "We applaud the BNYDC for leveraging historic preservation to enhance the economic viability of the Navy Yard and surrounding neighborhood."

"The New York Landmarks Conservancy is delighted that the Admirals Row property is finally in the hands of the Navy Yard who we know will act quickly to stabilize the two historic structures that will remain on the site," said Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. "The Navy Yard will rehabilitate the site and transform it from an abandoned eyesore to an amenity for the neighborhood and the Borough."

"The Historic Districts Council is very pleased that the City of New York is finally in a position to act to stabilize and preserve some of these historic buildings," Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council. "This has been a very long time in coming and we are confident that under the BNYDC's leadership, the corner has at last been turned in securing a stable future for the Timber Shed and Building B, two of the most significant structures remaining on this long-neglected pubic site."