Brooklyn Navy Yard to transform empty building into biomedical and tech hub
The next step in the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s rebirth and evolution into a tech, manufacturing, and creative hub will be the transformation of Building 77 from an empty concrete shell into a bustling business hub.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) today announced the news of the impending $80 million, privately-financed renovation of the site’s largest building — a 16-story former ammunition building with one-million-square-feet of space, two-feet-thick walls, and windows on the top floors — and said that the project already has an anchor tenant in Brooklyn-based Shiel Medical Laboratory, which will take up 240,000-square-feet.
Shiel’s developer, Jack Basch, said that the decision to move his lab out of a smaller space elsewhere in the Yard made sense for him, as “the Navy Yard is one of the hottest areas” for business and innovation in Brooklyn, and because he will be able to add 300-400 new employees and lease 180,000-square-feet of space to other companies.
“Shiel Medical Laboratory is on the leading edge of medical diagnostics” said Basch, “Our expansion into Building 77 will provide room for our rapid growth as well as a space for other high-tech medical services companies.”
BNYDC and city officials also touted the renovation as yet another sign of “the tremendous success of the Brooklyn Navy Yard business model and the resurgence of modern manufacturing that is taking root both in Brooklyn and all throughout New York City,” as said by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel.
The project will be funded with “100 percent private sector money” — $60 million from the BNYDC financed through a federal EB-5 program loan, state historic rehabilitation tax credits, and federal new markets tax credits + $20 million invested by Basch and his sub-tenants.
The remaining 750,000-square-feet of space will be renovated by BNYDC with the goal of attracting tech and manufacturing companies that want to establish themselves in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.
Construction on Building 77 is scheduled to begin within months, in spring of 2013, and is estimated to take approximately 18 months. The newly renovated building will be LEED Silver certified.
The renovation of Building 77 comes as the BNYDC is already in the process of getting permissions to transform the historic Admiral’s Row into a supermarket and light industrial center. It also joins existing major tenants such as Steiner Studios.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard was established in 1801 as one of the country’s primary shipbuilding and military facilities; it fell into disrepair and underutilization in post-WWII America, and now serves as a “thriving industrial park with nearly 300 businesses that employ over 6,400 people” and provides educational programs for the public and job seekers.
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