Want to open a supermarket? Here’s your chance

Pratt Institute students have put forward this plan.
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The city has made it official: It wants a supermarket inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

That was the goal all along, of course, but only last week did city officials make it known that they were ready to take advantage of a recent victory over preservationists who sought to protect the historical, yet crumbling, buildings inside the Navy Yard known as Admirals Row.

“Our goal is to put this property back to productive use by providing a unique opportunity for developers with the capacity and track record of establishing supermarkets and community-oriented retail that will serve the community and create local jobs,” said Andrew Kimball, president of the Navy Yard, a city entity.

Plans to bring a supermarket to the corner of Flushing Avenue and Navy Street are popular with many local who have faced a long trek to buy fresh food since John Catsimatidis, a developer and ironically the owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, demolished a market on Myrtle Avenue for a residential project that has lagged due to the recession.

“The residents of Vinegar Hill and Farragut and Whitman public housing live in a food desert,” said Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Clinton Hill). “They desperately need a supermarket.”

High-end groceries, like Fairway or Western Beef, which would attract drivers and not just neighborhood shoppers are likely candidates for the space.

Besides the grocery, the Navy Yard wants its future partner to build space for other shops and light industrial uses and an unspecified number of parking spaces for shoppers.

In a concession to the preservationists, two of the 10 neglected Admirals Row buildings will be saved. One is a long, low-slung timber shed and the other was a home for Naval officers.

The decision to salvage the buildings, reached in May, came after a lengthy review by the National Guard, which owns the Admirals Row section of the Navy Yard.

Now, the city can purchase the land from the military.

After the city chooses a developer to build the grocery, the project must go through an additional land-use review because only manufacturing uses are permitted on the site now, said Rob Perris, district manager of Community Board 2.

Perris added that CB2, which would vote on the rezoning, has been generally supportive of the project, passing resolutions in favor of bringing a supermarket to the Navy Yard.

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Reader Feedback

John from Carrool Gardens says:
This is pathetic. Only in America would the obvious historical value of storied buildings be usurped for a Western Beef. Way to go, New York!
July 17, 2009, 1:26 pm
Rhywun from Bay Ridge says:
Just what Brooklyn needs... another suburban mega-store.
July 17, 2009, 10:50 pm
Ellis from Park Slope says:
Just what Brooklyn needs... another self-righteous poster who doesn't a) realize the sorry state of Admiral's Row (overseen by the Federal Gov't and not NYC until very recently) b) recognize the fact that few people close to the issue believed that most of those buildings could even be preserved or c) have any perspective on the quality of life issues facing public housing residents living far from any real grocery store.

I'm all for preserving historic property, but these structures were beyond repair, and a supermarket is sorely needed in the area. This seems like a win-win proposal to me.
July 17, 2009, 11:14 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:
Ellis thanks for the comment you are right on target. Now john and Rhywun can go back to Iowa.
July 18, 2009, 12:41 am
Rhywun from Bay Ridge says:
I don't think I would do well in Iowa, given that I don't drive a car. As for the Row, I have no opinion on them--which is why my comment made no mention of them. I do have an opinion on the building of yet another establishment "which would attract drivers and not just neighborhood shoppers" and my opinion is that what appears to be a strip mall is out of place in central Brooklyn. The fact that this neighborhood needs a supermarket doesn't mean a suburban Fairway is the best idea for that space. Oh, and when it happens, and everyone starts complaining about the traffic, don't say I didn't warn you.
July 18, 2009, 6:26 pm
Doesitmatter from Brooklyn says:
"...we will probably be judged not by the monuments we build but by those we have destroyed"
July 20, 2009, 5:19 pm
key says:
I live in the area and lets be honestly the area is in dire need o f a super market. I pass by the Row frequently and admire the houses; I imagine what that may have looked like in their grandeur. Truly I wish they could have been restored and sold to middle income families but the conditions are to poor.
July 29, 2009, 1:47 pm

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