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BREAKING NEWS: Admirals Row will come down

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The city and National Guard reached an agreement to save two decrepit, yet historic, buildings in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and destroy eight others, ending an impasse and allowing the Navy Yard to proceed with its controversial plan to build a supermarket.

The deal, announced by a spokesman for the city-run Navy Yard, does not guarantee the preservation of the low-slung Timber Shed and one of the former officers’ homes, known as Building B, which faces Flushing Avenue. But it allows for the transfer of the federally owned “Admirals Row” area to the city, which owns the rest of the Navy Yard.

As part of the deal, the city would then solicit bids from developers to build a supermarket and an industrial building as well as to “test the market” to rehabilitate and maintain the two crumbling 19th-century structures.

It’s unclear how the historic buildings would be reused. The other eight buildings along the row could be demolished by the city, under this agreement.

The city rejoiced at the compromise.

“If a viable proposal is received, the Brooklyn Navy Yard will move forward with the acquistion of the property, resulting in new jobs, additional revenue for the city and state, a vitally important amenity of a new supermarket — the only one to serve the community — and the reuse of what has become a blighted eyesore that has burdened the community and the Brooklyn Navy Yard for decades,” said Navy Yard President Andrew Kimball.

The fight over the once-grand structures in the Admirals Row began in earnest after the city announced plans to acquire the land and build the supermarket. Locals, many of them from nearby public housing projects, craved the idea of a large grocery store near their homes and sided with the city.

But preservationists, including local activists and the Muncipal Art Society, a city-wide group, objected. Late on Wednesday, the art society put out a statement demanding that more buildings be preserved.

“We have hoped, and continue to hope, that more of these very significant historic buildings will be retained and incorporated into the development,” said Lisa Kersavage, the Society’s director of advocacy and policy. “We will continue to work with [the National Guard] to … preserve more of the buildings. The Navy Yard is seeking to demolish the buildings to create a very large surface parking and we strongly believe that more … buildings could be preserved by reconfiguring their plan.”

Updated 5:00 pm, May 28, 2009: Story was updated to give the Municipal Art Society's late Wednesday comment.
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Reader Feedback

Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
DESTROY BROOKLYN! Why should some crummy shacks stand in the way of progress?
May 27, 2009, 4:59 pm
Rhywun from Bay Ridge says:
What's stopping someone from building a supermarket anywhere else in the neighborhood...?
May 27, 2009, 5:32 pm
Fourth Estate from DUMBO says:
Probably developers who plan on gentrifying the area with more hideous buildings, and kicking out the current residents.
May 27, 2009, 5:40 pm
Judah Spechal from Bed-Stuy says:
Don't see why this has to be an either or. It's ridicules how under serve this community has been.Yet the city is going to climb on the backs of these people as an excuse to destroy History. Meanwhile they have a vacant lot where the prison was to built a supermarket.
May 27, 2009, 6:09 pm
Eric McClure from Park Slope says:
Demolition by neglect. These buildings should've been saved long ago. The neighborhood badly needs a supermarket, but the idea that this is the only place to put one is silly.
May 27, 2009, 9:12 pm
yardhead from dumbo says:
is alan fishman on the board of everything?

that $20,000,000 severance package from WAMU for 3 weeks of work sure must buy some free time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_H._Fishman
May 28, 2009, 11:32 am
Wiseguy from Brooklyn says:
I hear that Walentas will put a school there if Dock Street is defeated.
May 28, 2009, 3:01 pm
al pankin from downtown says:
these buildings have been a blight and in a state of disrepair for decades. if they were restored (at great expense) who would use them and for what purpose? the community needs a new supermarket, it'ss long overdue. these building are not in Rome.
May 28, 2009, 8:38 pm

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