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Clean slate for Navy Yard as Council approves demolition of Admirals Row

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The City Council unanimously approved the redevelopment of Admirals Row on Tuesday — giving the Brooklyn Navy Yard a clean slate to build a major supermarket after years of battling preservationists, a tug-of-war with the feds over ownership of the historic site, and losing its original developer to a bribery scandal.

City officials will now move forward to find a new developer for the six-acre site by the end of the year, bulldozing a slew of historic, but decaying, buildings to make room for a 250-car parking lot, and most important, a grocery store that many see as a dire need in the immediate area.

Plans for a $60-million ShopRite supermarket collapsed earlier this year, when the city’s chosen developer, Aaron Malinsky, was arrested in a bribery scandal alongside state Sen. Carl Kruger (D–Mill Basin). There’s no word on a new development team yet.

Still, local pols were thrilled by the Council approval, considering that city planners have eyed the site for decades, but only jumpstarted the project in June.

“For 20 years, the Navy Yard has made it clear that redevelopment of Admirals Row site is necessary, specifically to serve the local neighborho­od,” said Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), adding, “This is great news on many levels.”

But lovers of historic buildings were furious, given that Admirals Row along Flushing Avenue contains a dozen 19th-century structures on a site currently owned by the National Guard Bureau. The city will acquire the land and then raze all but two of the dozen buildings.

“This is a complete failure of the system and the government to maintain its historic buildings,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council. “It’s a disgrace.”

The Admirals Row is a relic of the days when naval officers and their families lived on the site. Over the past few years, the fight over the once-grand structures became heated as many locals championed the idea of a new supermarket while others argued that the more pressing need was the preservation of historic buildings.

City officials disagreed, saying that the buildings were “too far gone” and that the fastest way to redevelop the site would be to tear them down.

“This is the economically viable option,” Kimball said.

Still, history buffs will always have the Timber Shed.

The next developer — who will enter a long-term lease — will be required to rehabilitate the structure used to store ship’s masts, as well as Building B, an officer’s mansion.

Reach Kate Briquelet at kbriquelet@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-2511.

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Reader Feedback

nancy from coney says:
my mom was born and raised in that neigborhood.i gre up foing 2 the neighborhood and always admired those grand old houses its a shame that noone is willing 2 save these beautiful buildings they could be used for musemes or something its history we should perserve history theres plenty of places 2 put a supermarket there why dont those yuppies step up and do something huh
Dec. 1, 2011, 5:18 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
The Navy yard DC opened up a museum in another of the historic building in the Navy Yard on 11/11...go visit they did a great job.

http://bldg92.org/

The neighborhood sorely needs a supermarket and the jobs it will bring. Its not for the Yuppies its for the City Housing in the area.
It is unfortunate that the houses are beyond repair. the Feds let them run down(intentionally) too far. But the Navy yard has committed to save one building and the timber shed. If they get them back soon they might be able to everyday of delay makes the chances of them being saved less likely.
Dec. 1, 2011, 8:44 pm
manhatposeur from Portlyn Lakes Park says:
Ok Sid,
Let them build a Wholefoods and let those city housing people learn to eat "clean".
Dec. 2, 2011, 1:20 pm
nancy from coney says:
theres plenty of other sspaces 2 build a supermarket
have u been in the area lately the yuppies are taking over its good 4 the area but not at the expense of history
Dec. 2, 2011, 5:14 pm
Charlie from Fort Greene says:
I love how wild that patch is right now, when you ride by on your bike in the summer it feels 10 degrees cooler because of the vegetation. Hopefully they leave some of the old trees etc and dont just pave the whole lot over.
Dec. 2, 2011, 5:47 pm
Sid from Boerum Hill says:
I hate whole foods. Its overpriced and annoying(IMO)....ok Nancy where do you have 80,000 sq feet for a full sized supermarket? as opposed to the 10,000 sq feet that pass for Supermarkets in NY City....and no where else.
Dec. 2, 2011, 8:10 pm
Juan from Prospect Heights says:
Why not tear down the Section 8 buildings along Myrtle Ave? Kill two birds with one stone. Get rid of the bad element production facilities, and replace them with a supermarket and brownstone-like housing. Push the trash into East Brooklyn. Fort Greene park might actually become safe again. As for the Navy yard... I'm sure Bruce "Rat"ner will be redeveloping it with another Target or Walmart.
Dec. 3, 2011, 12:51 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
How's about a University on Civic Engineering and Environmental Science whose initial student bodies work alongside design and construction firms to build the University from within? It's mission would be the ever-expanding campus, and subsequent bodies would continue to build the University. The ratio allotments for affordable housing applicants can be grafted onto the initial hiring/residence-application spree, and the construction of their quarters would be incumbent--it would also be the core curriculum of the University.

It's not crazy. Many "elite" [ugh] institutions are looking at many potential locations around New York City, and are talking about pushing towards a billion in initial development and construction, foreseeing a potential 6 billion dollars in 25 years to the city overall from direct and indirect investment.

Why not at Brooklyn Naval Yard?
Dec. 3, 2011, 3:15 pm
nancy from coney says:
the who navy yard is an empty lot build there leave t he house 2 be used 4 history sake
Dec. 3, 2011, 11:55 pm
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
How does a 250-space parking lot serve the neighborhood. Sounds at least three times as big as it needs to be.
Dec. 11, 2011, 11:03 pm
Monday says:
Tear down all the new coops and condos and put those people on the Navy Yard island.

Maybe they can soak up the remaining toxic waste on the site.
Dec. 19, 2011, 10:47 am
goose says:
really who cares!!
Dec. 19, 2011, 12:49 pm

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