Brooklyn Navy Yard

Last week I drove out to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to get a tour from Andrew Kimbal.  Andrew is the President/CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development.  What he has accomplished behind those gates is extraordinary….and the gates are opening up to the rest of the community starting with an incredible interactive museum that tells the story of the Naval yards from past to present. 

Originally the Naval yards built merchant vessels.  Fast forward to 2012 and driving through the yards made me feel like I was entering a secret commerce development that was like having a tour at Universal Studios in Los Angeles.  There is an area for films called Steiner Studios that not only create televisions shows but there are small venues for commercials too.  Still building, still growing. 

There is an area that is to preserve the Maritime industry where they dredged up the harbor so that boats can come in there to be serviced.  Keeping with history.

The museum is part of a visitor and job training center that has helped over a thousand people pivot their careers including helping people who have been incarcerated enter back into society with work skills.

Duggal, one of the last remaining photo labs in the area, has over 30,000 square feet. 

There are buildings devoted to Green Manufacturing.  There is a buildling that is in the process of being built out right now that will be a 80,000 square feet Third Ward with classes, co-working spaces, etc.  The ultimate DIY building.

Buildings are available for future development.  They are hoping for a food incubator and the buildings have easy access for freight trucks and shipping.  Approval for a grocery story has just happened and the community is thrilled. 

I was thinking about a million things that could be done to add to the area that will connect with the community from retail, food and classes at Third Ward.  The most difficult part of the Navy Yard is really just getting there.  The opening at Navy Street is about a 10 minute walk from the N train.  Obviously when the subways were build nobody thought that maybe we'd want to build on our waterways. 

If you have kids, I highly recommend getting out to the museum at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  It is fantastic.  Andrew has created something that is so well thought out, intelligently curated and such a great addition to Brooklyn.  There are actually companies who want to take large pieces of property with long term leases that had moved out of NY to NJ but want to return.  That is seriously a sign of the times. 




Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    A water taxi stop could be a help with this. In NYC, hard to get there makes it hard to think about.Bringing in events, like they do at Fort Mason in the Marina in SF is a good way to get folks energized to make the trip.Thanks for this. New to me. 

    1. Gotham Gal

      absolutely. once they get to a certain mass of people working there i believe the water taxi will make it a permanent stop. i asked about that. most of the people who work there come from brooklyn which is not surprising but still it is on the edge of the water.

    2. rebeccastees

       Another problem with the Alameda Point Naval Station is transportation.We just have one tube and a couple of old bridges to get too it.Water taxis could also work…….

      1. awaldstein

        Moving back to NYC after years in SF and LA, I find myself going everywhere all the time because its so easy.Subways are so efficient, I live downtown and to to central park, a couple of museums, meetings all over and in Brooklyn without ever getting into to car and without a second thought, A big deal. 

        1. rebeccastees

           I don’t drive in SF, so I’d love even better transit than we have now.Still working on getting the Bay Bridge done here………Residents of Alameda are scared of more traffic.But we could use the taxes for the schools.I’d love to see a theme park sort of thing…… that would have it’s own fun transit (over the water) from SF to Alameda.

          1. awaldstein

            SF except for certain routes when I lived there 10years ago was a problem.Hard to get anywhere w/out a car. Hard to park when you got there.Maybe better now for residents and maybe the neighborhoods are more complete with services, like NYC, so you don’t have to schlepp.

          2. rebeccastees

            My feeling is that it’s still the same.You have to be committed to live here.We have bad transit and earthquakes to scare people away.(Otherwise it is paradise)………I haven’t been to NYC in a really long time!   I just love hanging around at PS1. 

  2. leeschneider

    A company we do some business with, IceStone, has been located at the Navy Yard for a while.  They make these amazing eco-friendly countertops from concrete and recycled glass.  Have yet to make it out to tour their factory, but I think i’ll have to get there ASAP.  Ever seen their stuff?

    1. Gotham Gal

      i hear their stuff is awesome. i love the whole concept of recycling the glass.

      1. leeschneider

        Their products are very cool, and certainly good looking. It’s definitely still a high-end product, which prices about 80% of our customers out of the product unfortunately. Customers want something “comparable to granite” (ugh) price-wise, so they’ve got a ways to go. And for someone who like to cook and entertain a lot (i.e. you), it wouldn’t be my first choice from a maintenance and care perspective.

        1. Gotham Gal

          ceasar stone is my product of the moment for kitchen counter tops.

          1. leeschneider

            Caesarstone is great. We carry a similar product called Eco by Cosentino (made by the same company as Silestone). Recycled content (glass, porcelain, mirror, etc) held together with a corn-based resin. Very cool stuff. And no maintenance!!Headed to Park City tomorrow. Any dinner recommendations for a group of 5 guys? Fancy/not fancy doesn’t matter.

          2. Gotham Gal

            I’ve yet to find something that good I do like the distillery in town

          3. leeschneider

            Had dinner at High West Distillery.  Really enjoyed it.  And the Bourye on the rocks certainly did the trick.  Would definitely return, although they seem to sell out the restaurant for private events fairly often.Ate dinner one night at Zoom, Robert Redford’s place.  Eh.  Good apps.  Wouldn’t return.Also had dinner at East Street Brasserie.  Decent, not overwhelming. Pretty loud, rowdy atmosphere for a white table cloth place.  

          4. Gotham Gal

            You had the same reaction as me to the places out there nothing great

          5. leeschneider

            Forgot one other place – had breakfast at The Eating Establishment on Main Street. Good. Great looking Huevos Rancheros, the crepes are supposed to be excellent, and the eggs were top notch. Good fresh squeezed OJ too.

  3. PMarchetti

    I love stories like this – finding new purpose for something old and doing it sustainably vs tearing down.  I’ll pass this along to my @EarthTechling editorial team.  

  4. rebeccastees

    I wish our Alameda, CA Navy Base had an inspired development plan.Problem one is that it’s a superfund clean-up site.Since 2000, the City of Alameda has been planning the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station, now known as Alameda Point. Complicating the redevelopment are several constraints: land-use constraints consisting of Tidelands Trust; soil and groundwater contamination; wildlife refuge buffer requirements; geotechnical issues; 100-year flood plans; institutional and contractual constraints with Alameda Measure A, the Alameda Naval Air Station Historic District and existing residents and leases.

    1. Gotham Gal

      i would think that the success of this navy yard will be one duplicated once the word is out. like the highline…everyone wants to have one.

      1. rebeccastees

        So true.  I want one.  lol

  5. Rich Caccappolo

    GG, Andrew mentioned to me that you had been over to visit and that he really enjoyed meeting with you.  I have heard that he and his team have done an incredible job on this project and I have been meaning to go see it, but have not yet made the trip.  Your post has motivated me to make it a priority.

    1. Gotham Gal will love it