Admirals Row redevelopment begins public review

Admirals Row Plaza. Image Courtesy of  GreenbergFarrow.

Mixed-use project at southeast corner of Brooklyn Navy Yard would include adaptive reuse of two historic buildings. On June 20, 2011, the City Planning Commission certified the Brooklyn Navy Yard Economic Development Corporation’s proposed mixed-use development, known as Admirals Row Plaza, on a federally owned site at the southeast edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard at Navy and Nassau Streets in Brooklyn. The site is occupied by ten residences along Nassau Street built between 1850 and 1901 to house naval officers, and a large timber shed along Navy Street dating from the 1830s that stored ship-building materials. The buildings have been vacant for more than 20 years and are severely deteriorated.

The U.S. Army National Guard Bureau retained control of the six-acre site after the City purchased the rest of the Brooklyn Navy Yard complex in 1967. In 2007 the Bureau commenced the federal review process to transfer control of the property to the City, which plans to lease the site to the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation intends to demolish nine of the historic structures to make way for Admirals Row Plaza. One of the officers’ quarters (Quarters B) and the timber shed would be rehabilitated, and three new buildings would be developed along the perimeter of the site. A five-story building on the eastern side of the property would feature a 74,000 sq.ft. supermarket, with 127,000 sq.ft. of industrial space on the top four floors. A two-story building fronting Nassau Street would provide 35,000 sq.ft. for multiple retail tenants, and a two-story building to the north of the timber shed along Navy Street would provide an additional 31,000 sq.ft. of retail space. Quarters B and the timber shed would provide a combined 19,500 sq.ft. of community facility space. The project would include a 295-space surface parking lot at the interior of the site which would be accessible from Navy and Nassau Streets.

The project would require multiple actions, including the acquisition of the site by the City and subsequent disposition of the site 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 to allow the parking lot and proposed signage.

Although PA Development had initially been selected to develop the site, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation will issue a new request for proposals to designate a developer. The project is expected to be completed by 2014.

At the Commission’s review session, Commissioner Shirley McRae expressed concern about how the project would impact vehicle traffic in the area. McRae stated that she would be interested to know how the Department of Transportation planned to address the increased vehicle traffic resulting from the supermarket, noting that the nearby intersections were already heavily used during rush hour by drivers making their way toward the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

The project still needs approvals from the City Planning Commission and the City Council. As of June 29, 2011, Brooklyn Community Board 2 has 60 days to issue an advisory recommendation on the project.

CPC: Certification of Admirals Row Plaza (C 110380 PQK – acquisition of prop.); (C 110381 PPK – dispo. of prop.); (C 110382 ZMK – rezoning); (C 110383 ZRK – text amend.); (C 110375 ZSK to C 110378 ZSK – spec. perms.) (June 20, 2011) (Architect: GreenbergFarrow).

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