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.