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A local panel has greenlighted the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s long-stalled plans to build a major supermarket — but preservationists slammed the plan’s collateral damage: the loss of historic, but crumbling, buildings in the 19th-century Admirals Row.
A Community Board 2 committee unanimously approved the Navy Yard’s plan to build the supermarket and additional retail space, a plan that calls for preserving two of the historic buildings, but tearing down the other 10.
“We believe this plan meets the needs of the community, incorporates a very significant amount of historic preservation, and also meets our core mission of creating industrial jobs,” said Navy Yard CEO Andrew Kimball.
The CB2 panel agreed, citing the sorely needed grocery store and jobs that the development could bring to the neighborhood.
But fans of historic structures fired back that the plan sacrificed the remainder of Admirals Row, a relic of the days when naval officers lived on the site.
“There’s enough property to preserve Admirals Row, which I think far better serves the community,” said Clinton Hill resident Scott Witter, who runs Brooklyn’s Other Museum of Brooklyn a few blocks from the Navy Yard. “The row is worth saving — it’s the only one we have.”
Kimball said that the federal government declared the buildings “too far gone” a decade ago and that the fastest way to redevelop the site would be to tear them down.
“This is the economically viable option,” Kimball said.
Admirals Row, which overlooks Flushing Avenue near Navy Street, sits on six acres of federally owned land in the otherwise city-controlled Navy Yard.
The city’s development will include a football field-sized supermarket, industrial and retail space, and a 250-car parking lot.
The plans also call for the restoration of two buildings that the National Guard Bureau deemed beyond repair earlier this year: The Timber Shed, once used to store ships’ masts, and Building B, an officer’s mansion.
The community board’s approval is only the first step in the seven-month review process of the Admirals Row acquisition and redevelopment. Next up is Borough President Markowitz’s public hearing on Wednesday night.
Admirals Row hearing at Borough Hall [209 Joralemon St. between Adams and Court streets in Downtown, (718) 802-3856], July 27 at 6 pm.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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