Admirals Row Plaza OK’d

Brooklyn Navy Yard proposal would add supermarket and additional light industrial space. On October 19, 2011, the City Planning Commission approved the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation’s Admirals Row Plaza mixed-use project on the southeast edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard at the corner of Navy and Nassau Streets in Brooklyn. The United States National Guard Bureau retained control over the six-acre project site after the City purchased the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The federally-owned site is occupied by multiple vacant and deteriorated buildings including a row of Civil War-era naval officers’ quarters and a large timber shed along Navy Street dating to the 1830s.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation plans to demolish the majority of the existing buildings, except for one of the officers’ quarters (Quarters B) and the timber shed. Quarters B would be converted into a community facility and the timber shed into retail space. Three new buildings would be developed on the site including a five-story building with a 74,000 sq.ft. supermarket and four floors of industrial space, and two, twostory buildings with retail space. A 266-space surface parking lot on the interior of the site would be accessible from Navy and Nassau Streets. The proposal would create 600 jobs and incorporate a job training program for residents of three nearby public housing communities. 8 City- Land 90 (July 15, 2011). 

The City submitted applications to acquire the site from the National Guard Bureau and to facilitate its disposition to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation through a master lease. In addition, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation submitted applications to rezone the site from M1-2 to M1-4 and for special permits for the parking lot and proposed signage.

Brooklyn Community Board 2 and Borough President Marty Markowitz supported the project. To accommodate public transit for future patrons of the development, Markowitz recommended that the B69 bus line offer weekend service and that bus shelters be built at stops near the project.

At the Commission’s September 7 public hearing, Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, testified that he was confident the new industrial space would be filled, given the demand for space at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. According to Kimball, the Navy Yard and the developer selected to build the project would apply for federal tax credits to help rehabilitate the timber shed and Quarters B.

Commissioner Anna Levin asked whether existing trees would be preserved. Kimball explained that a corner of the proposed supermarket building would be carved out to preserve a mature tree, and that a new line of street trees would be planted to incorporate the development into the Brooklyn Greenway. By letter, Scott Witter, curator of Brooklyn’s Other Museum of Brooklyn, opposed the project and requested that all of the existing buildings be preserved.

The Commission voted unanimously to approve the project. The Commission acknowledged Witter’s concerns, but noted that the level of deterioration made it impossible to restore all of the Civil War-era buildings.

CPC: Admirals Row Plaza (Oct. 19, 2011) (Architect: GreenbergFarrow).

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