Brooklyn Navy Yard Unveils $2.5B Expansion Plan

The project will add 5 million square feet of mostly manufacturing space, slated to create 10,000 new jobs and bring the Yard’s total to 30,000.

Brooklyn Navy Yard
Brooklyn Navy Yard

The Brooklyn Navy Yard announced a new long-term plan to expand manufacturing space and ultimately add 10,000 new middle-class jobs, bringing total employment at the Yard to 30,000.

The $2.5 billion plan will add 5 million square feet of space, with at least 75 percent dedicated to traditional and advanced manufacturers representing industries including food, apparel, tech, home goods and construction. The other space will accommodate “complementary businesses in the creative, technology and innovation sectors.

The plan’s release follows closely the November debut of the 1 million-square-foot Building 77, which opened more than 80 percent leased after completing a $180 million rehabilitation.

Development of this newest phase is expected to begin following completion of the $1 billion expansion already under way, which by 2020 will add more than 2 million square feet of space and boost employment at the Yard from 7,000 up to 17,000 to 20,000.

With BNY having run out of major existing spaces to rehab, the new plan will focus on the ground-up development of new vertical manufacturing facilities at three sites: Kent Avenue (about 13 acres), Flushing Avenue (about 6.5 acres) and Navy Street (about 5 acres).

Each site will include multiple buildings, which have not yet been designed, a BNYDC spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. He added, however, that Building 77 is a good example of how BNY approaches vertical manufacturing. For example, the heavier manufacturing uses are on the lower floors, which can accommodate bigger equipment and materials, and lighter manufacturing is on the upper floors.

This plan is the transformative next step in the decades-long investment by the Brooklyn Navy Yard to grow New York City’s manufacturing sector,” David Ehrenberg, president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., said in a prepared statement. “We are at the start of a multi-generational period of growth that in the years ahead will return employment at the Yard to its highest levels since the 1940s while fueling a continued surge of manufacturing across the city.”

The BNYDC reportedly spent two years evaluating which industries are growing across the five boroughs, are compatible with New York’s vision for the future and create high-quality jobs, as well as what those industries need to sustain their growth.

Adding to a mega-project

This latest phase of the Yard’s reinvention will continue the massive and ongoing effort there.

  • The reactivation of Building 77, a 1 million-square-foot building at Vanderbilt and Flushing, has been the largest development project to date in the Yard’s revitalization. The 16-story building will be the new public gateway to the Yard with a 60,000-square-foot food-manufacturing hub on the ground floor.
  • Dock 72, a 675,000-square-foot creative office building, which broke ground in May 2016, received a $250 million construction loan in January 2017 and is now nearing completion. It’s being developed by Boston Properties and Rudin Management and will be anchored by WeWork.
  • The Green Manufacturing Center, a fully renovated 1902 building, is home to Crye Precision, New Lab, Brooklyn Roasting Co. and a soon-to-be-announced fourth tenant.
  • The Admirals Row section of the Yard, which used to be housing for naval officers, will eventually be home to a Wegmans supermarket, local retailers and 126,000 square feet of industrial space.

After decades of decline, a manufacturing uptick in New York in recent years has fueled a surge in demand for affordable, high-caliber industrial and creative space in Brooklyn and other boroughs, the BNYDC noted. The Yard is now home to more than 400 businesses, leased 440,000 square feet in 2017 and remains at near full occupancy, with a waiting list of would-be tenants.

Image courtesy of BNYDC