Navy Yard

U.S. Dept. of Commerce invests $2M to support manufacturing in Brooklyn Navy Yard

October 2, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard; Congresswoman Nydia M. Velazquez; Matt Erskine, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for Economic Development; and Hank Gutman, chairman of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese

To celebrate Manufacturing Day this past Friday, the Brooklyn Navy Yard announced at a press conference that it received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) that will go toward the restoration of Building 77. Officials estimate that the money will help to immediately create more than 375 manufacturing jobs and generate an additional $2 million in private investment.

“American manufacturing is experiencing a renaissance and creating high-paying, high-tech jobs all across the country,” said U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine. “The EDA investment announced [on Friday] continues EDA’s long-standing support of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which is a prime example of the power of economic development to create jobs and economic growth.”

EDA’s investment will renovate two floors of Building 77 into industrial suites to prepare them for growing companies as part of the redevelopment and renovation of this historic former naval stores building. The renovated space will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification and is expected to attract small and medium-sized start-up and expanding manufacturing tenants. 

“This project will enhance Brooklyn Navy Yard while creating economic opportunity and the chance for well-paying, green manufacturing jobs. I’m pleased to see this initiative moving forward,” said U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez. 

“At one million square feet, [Building] 77 is by far our largest project to date and would not be possible without public support,” said Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) President and CEO David Ehrenberg. “The EDA investment is a vote of confidence in the tremendous economic impact this project will have, not only for the Yard’s existing businesses, but also for the 3,000 jobs that will be created.”

EDA has invested in the Brooklyn Navy Yard for the past 50 years, transforming the area into a manufacturing hub. From 1801 to 1966, the Brooklyn Navy Yard was an active U.S. military installation, but it closed in July 1966 and displaced almost 9,500 workers. That year, EDA designated the area around the Yard as a redevelopment area and began providing financial support for its redevelopment.  

By 1970, EDA had provided $15 million to fund technical assistance and infrastructure rehabilitation of existing buildings for industrial reuse, attracting 14 employers to the Yard. In 2009, EDA invested $2.5 million in a green manufacturing center in the Brooklyn Navy Yard through a grant to BNYDC. This investment supported the rehabilitation of approximately 250,000 square feet of space for new and growing green manufacturing companies, creating 800 new jobs and leveraging approximately $45 million in private investment. 

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