Mayor Bloomberg and Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation President Andrew Kimball cut the ribbon today on BLDG 92, a $25 million exhibition and visitors center that documents the historic significance of the 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard, and announced new hiring commitments from Navy Yard tenants. Over the coming year, tenants including Steiner Studios, Shiel Medical Laboratories, B&H Photo, Duggal Visual Solutions, Cumberland Packing, Ares Printing and Mercedes Distribution have agreed to work with the Navy Yard’s expanded employment program – to be housed in BLDG 92 – to place over 300 local residents in new jobs. To date, more than 1,000 local residents have been placed in jobs over the past 10 years.
The new program will make a special effort to place veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan in the new jobs. Mayor Bloomberg was also joined by New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Congress Member Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, City Council Member Stephen Levin, City Council Member Diana Reyna, Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation President Andrew Kimball and Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Chair Alan H. Fishman.
“Brooklyn Navy Yard is our city’s flagship industrial park, and a true economic success story,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As BLDG 92 shows, the Navy Yard has long been a major employer in our city. That’s still true today, with some 6,000 people working at the Navy Yard, and will still be true for many years to come, with the ongoing expansion and these new commitments expected to bring up to 2,000 more jobs here over the next two years.”
Brooklyn Navy Yard, the leading industrial park in New York City with four million square feet of leasable space, is 99 percent full and is undergoing its largest expansion since WWII. Approximately 1.6 million square feet of new space, which will house up to 2,000 new jobs, will be developed over the next two years. This expansion has been driven in large measure by over $200 million in basic infrastructure investments from the Bloomberg Administration and significant investment from the state and federal governments. Public investments have helped leverage over $500 million in private investment for new buildings in the Navy Yard.
On display at BLDG 92 is the story of the Yard’s rebirth as a national model of urban industrial job creation, particularly in green manufacturing. The Yard has added jobs and businesses throughout the national recession and is currently home to 275 tenants employing nearly 6000 people, up from 220 tenants and 3,600 people in 2001. Using cutting-edge technology, high-quality resources, and eco-friendly manufacturing practices today’s tenants create goods and offer services that impact and improve our daily lives. In the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to see the diversity of these products and get a unique behind-the-scenes look at their production.
BLDG 92 tells the Yard’s story, from the time it was launched in 1801 as a Naval shipyard to its rebirth as a industrial center 165 years later. BLDG 92 also highlights the Yard’s current use as the national model for urban green manufacturing. Included is the comprehensive story of the Yard’s military history – launching such ships as the Maine, Monitor and Missouri, and chronicles the many important contributions to American industry, innovation, education and social progress, including:
Oral histories from some of the original “Rosie the Riveters,” who advocated for equal pay for equal work and African Americans who broke the color barrier during WWII;
Technological breakthroughs including the first steam powered warship, use of the first pile-driver, the first singing voice broadcast wirelessly and the first transatlantic telegraph cable;
The establishment of the Naval Yard Lyceum, a precursor of the US Naval Academy; and
Medical advances such as the manufacture of pure ether for use as an anesthetic.
“The growth and development of the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the Bloomberg Administration proves that there is a bright future for modern manufacturing in New York City,” Deputy Mayor Steel said. “By expanding its local hiring program, the Navy Yard will help connect even more Brooklyn residents with career opportunities at the many thriving companies that call the Navy Yard home.”
“Building 92 is core to our mission: Here we will celebrate our extraordinary history, our modern rebirth and our remarkable tenants. In addition, this center will set the pace as we provide vital job placement and training services to the community,” said BNYDC Chair Alan Fishman.
“The Navy Yard is a testament to New York City’s resilience and creativity,” said NYC Council Speaker Quinn. “Through thoughtful redevelopment efforts, what was once a thriving shipbuilding facility is now a model urban industrial park that houses some of the City’s most cutting edge companies. We are proud at the Council to have partnered with the Administration, State, Borough President Markowitz, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard to make BLDG 92 a reality and are thrilled to see that it will help connect local residents to more than 300 new jobs.”
“Today is a great day for Brooklyn and the State of New York! Two years ago the NYS Senate under John Sampson's leadership invested $5 million dollars in the continuing development of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and today we see what a wise investment we made,” said Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “The Brooklyn Navy Yard's commitment to Green Development and local job creation is both an anchor and a catalyst for sustained economic growth of the best kind. Thank you, Brooklyn Navy Yard! It is a privilege to work with you for the good of Brooklyn.”
“This expansion reminds us of New York’s rich history while providing a valuable resource for the cutting-edge technology that will lead our innovation economy for years to come,” said Peter Davidson, Executive Director of Empire State Development.
BLDG 92 is housed in the restored 9,300-square-foot former United States Marine Corps Commandant’s residence designed in 1857 by Thomas U. Walter, fourth architect of the US Capitol, and a 24,000-square-foot modern extension. The entire facility is built to LEED-Platinum standards reflecting BNYDC’s commitment to sustainability.
The modern extension will provide space for community meetings and school visits, a rooftop café and BNYDC’s Employment Center. BLDG 92 will also offer bus and bike tours that explore some of the Yard’s most intriguing sites, including a landmark dry dock that’s been in use since before the Civil War, the 24-acre former Navy hospital campus that is virtually frozen in time, and the nation’s first multi-story, multi-tenant LEED Gold industrial building that includes the City’s first building-mounted wind turbines.
Capital funding for the $25.6 million project came from city and state sources including: $17.5 million from the City of New York, of which $12.7 million was funded by the New York City Council and $4.3 million by the Brooklyn Borough President; and $7.7 million from the State of New York, of which $5.1 million was funded by the New York State Senate, $2.5 million from the State Environmental Protection Fund, and $80,000 from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority. In addition, the project received $390,000 in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and $60,000 from the Brooklyn Community Foundation.
Additional program and operating funding totaling over $1.4 million has been provided by the Barclay’s Nets Alliance, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Con Edison, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, National Grid Foundation, National Grid, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, New York City Regional Center, Peter J Sharp Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Sovereign Bank and TD Bank. Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, a non-profit group with a strong track record in job training and placement, will operate the expanded jobs program.
In addition to being home to more than 30 green businesses, the BNYDC is implementing a series of Yard-wide sustainability initiatives including: building the nation’s first multi-story, multi-tenanted LEED-certified industrial buildings; installing the City’s first building-mounted wind turbines and first wind-solar street lamps; adaptively reusing historic Navy-built buildings for their original industrial intent; using green technologies for renovations and maintenance, such as Energy Star roofs and energy efficient windows; undertaking a major water/sewer project to upgrade the Yard's aging infrastructure and improve water conservation; rebuilding the road system with improved storm-water management systems; purchasing hybrid and low-emission vehicles for the Yard's fleet; installing solar-powered, compacting trash cans; purchasing eco-friendly paint and cleaning products; implementing a Yard-wide waste management program; installing bicycle racks and lanes; and providing setbacks along the perimeter of Yard to enable the first phase of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway for bicyclists and pedestrians.