The building is expected to expand the City’s manufacturing industry and create more middle class jobs. On November 9, 2017, Mayor Bill de Blasio opened Building 77, one of the central buildings within the Brooklyn Navy Yard Industrial Park. The building and its $185 million renovation is a part of a billion dollar investment financed by Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Mayoral City Capital, the City Council, and the Brooklyn Borough President to develop Brooklyn Navy Yard’s 300-acre industrial campus in order to meet the demand and growth of manufacturing and industry in New York. The Yard’s renovation is also a part of the Mayor’s New York Works plan to build 100,000 jobs for the City.
As a former U.S. Navy storage facility, Building 77’s renovation included removing the concrete from the building and replacing it with 50,000 square feet of windows and is expected to be the centerpiece to the Navy Yard’s development. The building includes a 60,000-square-foot ground-floor Food Manufacturing Hub and will be the central gathering point for the businesses, employees, and the guests of the Navy Yard. Building 77’s renovation is expected to bring in 3,000 jobs. Businesses have already signed leases with Brooklyn Navy Yard and they will occupy approximately 62% of Building 77’s available space. The tenants come from both within the City and outside and come from a variety of backgrounds and industries. Business tenants are planning to use Building 77 to open operations in the City or further expand their existing businesses. Russ & Daughters, a famed, historical New York City food establishment, is expected to occupy part of the building’s ground-floor Food Manufacturing Hub for its food making operation and retail operations. Other Building 77 tenants include a boutique jewelry manufacturer, Catbird, a lighting manufacturer, Lights Up!, and an apparel firm, Lafayette 148 and are expected to bring in a range of jobs to offer pathways to the middle class.
With the opening of Building 77, the Mayor sees it as a step forward into the implementation of his plan and the goal to improve the overall economy of the City. The Mayor stated “investing in and expanding manufacturing space is key to growing and diversifying our economy and boosting wages.” The jobs created and developed at Building 77 are expected to bring the Brooklyn community opportunities for New Yorkers to gain a pathway to the middle class and to grow within the City. Alicia Glen, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development stated that industrial jobs provide “a springboard for social mobility for many New Yorkers, in particular those without advanced educational degrees.” Building 77’s renovation and development were lauded by many city and elected officials from across the five boroughs and shared the same sentiments as the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor.
Collaborating with the City, BNYDC, Dudley Ventures, Goldman Sachs, and BRP Companies have provided loans to further the Brooklyn Navy Yard project. Additionally, the City received financial funds from both the federal U.S. Economic Development Administration and the State’s Regional Economic Development Council. With the completion of Building 77, the City looks forward to future developments of the Navy Yard and the creation of jobs, businesses ventures, and other opportunities for the City.
By: May Vutrapongvatana (May is a CityLaw Intern and a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019.)