Navy Yard

Russ & Daughters to anchor ground floor of Brooklyn Navy Yard’s largest building

February 1, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Russ & Daughters will anchor the ground floor of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 77. Renderings courtesy of Marvel Architects
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The Brooklyn Navy Yard announced Monday that New York City food institution Russ & Daughters will anchor the ground floor of Building 77, the Navy Yard’s new public food hall and manufacturing space. Renowned for its signature smoked fish, caviar, traditional bagels, bialys and baked goods, Russ & Daughters is run by Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper — the fourth generation of the family, which founded the business in 1914.

“Russ & Daughters has been a part of the fabric of New York for 102 years. We hope to be around for at least as many more. The opportunity to continue our growth — within the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a 200-year-old force of industry and development in New York — is not only incredibly exciting, it’s a natural fit,” said Russ Federman.

“Our investment in Building 77 means thousands more good jobs in the Navy Yard. Russ & Daughters is a great New York City company, and it’s going to be the first of many to scale up and add new employees in this new manufacturing space,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Brooklyn Navy Yard President and CEO David Ehrenberg said that “Russ & Daughters will be an integral part of a bustling ecosystem at Building 77 and will also help attract and support a next generation of food entrepreneurs.”

“The excitement that will be generated from the intersection of food production and enjoyment in Building 77 will help solidify the Navy Yard’s place as a vibrant and unique location in New York to work and visit,” added Russ Tupper.

The company will lease 14,000 square feet for a food manufacturing center as well as a retail space and bagel sandwich shop, enabling it to dramatically expand its food production and distribution capabilities, and providing its first retail presence outside of Manhattan. The new space will enable the firm to add more than 30 new jobs.

De Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the New York City Council dedicated approximately $80 million toward the $185 million renovation of Building 77, converting underutilized storage space into a state of the art manufacturing, tech and design hub. When completed in early 2017, the 1 million-square-foot building will add 3,000 jobs.

Adams said he is “proud of the ‘foodie’ culture that our borough has fostered through our food manufacturing renaissance, and even prouder that I can invest in this present and future staple of our economic landscape through development at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.” He added that he encourages “businesses to consider Building 77 for the expansion of their manufacturing and retail ventures, with the full confidence that all future tenants will be set up for second-to-none opportunities for growth as part of Brooklyn’s burgeoning economy.” 

Councilmember Stephen Levin said that “the transformation of Building 77 is a bona fide Brooklyn success story, and I’m proud that the council helped to make this important project a reality. I’m thrilled to welcome Russ & Daughters to my district and I look forward to the creativity, innovation and quality jobs that the new Building 77 will bring to the Navy Yard and the surrounding communities.” 

For the first time in years, the Yard will have space to accommodate the growth of existing businesses and to provide a home to new businesses. The 60,000-square-foot ground floor will serve as a public gateway to the Yard, and the central gathering point for Yard businesses, employees and their guests.

The majority of the Yard is currently not open to the public, and remains to many an unknown pocket of the Brooklyn waterfront. A communal amenity space on the ground floor of Building 77 will not only bring much-needed services to the thousands of people who work in the Yard each day, but will be designed to invite the public to peek a little deeper into the Yard and enjoy the offerings in the public hall.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Russ & Daughters facility will include retail space, including breakfast and lunch for Navy Yard tenants, employees, visitors and the general public; bakery operations; the Russ & Daughters nationwide shipping center; food production, including a central kitchen where Russ & Daughters will make products for its own locations as well as for their wholesale business; on-site and off-site catering; and training for Russ & Daughters employees. 

Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) also announced that it is issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest for the remaining ground floor space at Building 77. BNYDC is especially focused on leasing to smaller food manufacturing and retail companies, with a strong preference for local and Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises.

The ground floor will include tenant opportunities for large and small production space. Food manufacturers will have the opportunity to produce their goods in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and will be required to create a retail space to offer their product in the public hall. Dedicated retail spaces are also available for vendors to prepare and serve food and beverages. Award-winning architectural firm, Marvel Architects, is designing the ground floor manufacturing spaces, the public hall and landscaped plaza in front of Building 77.

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