Shelter from the Storm in Sunset Park: Flood-proofing Industry City and the Brooklyn Army Terminal
Five years after Superstorm Sandy, the city is moving forward with its plan to repair extensive flood damage at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Industry City (once called Bush Terminal) in Sunset Park, and make the waterfront sites more resilient in the face of future storms.
Symbols of Sunset Park’s industrial rehabilitation, the transformed warehouse complexes are now home to emerging and established design, media, artisanal and technology firms. But the sites suffered millions of dollars in damages from Sandy, and, according to New York City’s Panel on Climate Change, the odds of future flooding are only increasing.
As part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s One New York plan to make the city more resilient (initiated under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg), the city has chosen Dewberry, a 2,000-plus employee private firm, to provide design resiliency services.
The projects include installing flood barriers at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and elevating the electrical substation at Industry City. The total cost of the projects is roughly $21 million, with the funds coming from FEMA and the city.
Managing partners Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo, Gordon & Co. started transforming Industry City into an “Innovation Economy hub,” as they called it, in 2013.
The 40-acre Industry City houses companies like One Girl Cookies, Car2Go and Time Inc., city offices, manufacturing sites and the training facility for the Brooklyn Nets.
According to The New York Times, Sandy caused $50 million in damages to the complex’s buildings at 36th Street between Second and Third avenues.
According to a statement from Dewberry, plans for rehabbing the campus include developing site drainage, flood barriers, modifying pavements and upgrading storm sewer systems to prevent damage and erosion.
Brooklyn Army Terminal
The 99-acre Brooklyn Army Terminal complex of warehouses, offices and piers centered around 60th Street is home to companies like Jacques Torres Chocolate, Salty Road Taffy, City Saucery and boasts a passenger ferry landing.
The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but is located within a mapped flood zone.
The new design will protect the 1,200 linear feet of waterfront from rising sea levels and flood surge, Dewberry said.
Dewberry has conducted numerous studies and projects in the resiliency area, including a sea level rise management study for North Carolina, a waterway debris management plan for New Jersey, updating the digital map of Alaska and devising a plan for rising sea levels for Virginia Beach.
The city’s One New York plan’s resiliency goals include eliminating long-term displacement from homes and jobs after shock events by 2050.
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