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Brooklyn Navy Yard Names New Developer for Historic Admiral's Row

By Janet Upadhye | December 21, 2012 7:53pm

NAVY YARD — The ivy-covered dilapidated structures that make up Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard are one step closer to demolition.

The Navy Yard recently chose Blumenfeld Development Group to transform 6 acres that were once home to naval officers into a supermarket and retail center.

"The Council approved the rezoning of Admiral's Row Plaza in November 2011 with the goal of revitalizing an unoccupied, overgrown and deteriorated area of our city," City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn said in a statement.

"Now, with the selection of Blumenfeld as developer, we will soon see not only an influx of more jobs and retail and industrial space into the community, but also a sorely needed supermarket in a neighborhood currently under served by fresh food retail."

The naming of a developer is a major step forward for a project that has faced several challenges, including a longstanding battle with preservationists, who had hoped to rehabilitate the deteriorating naval mansions that make up Admiral's Row. 

Another obstacle was that one of the founders of PA Developers, the first company chosen to build out Admiral’s Row, was charged in a federal bribery investigation.

But once the Navy Yard promised to save and rehabilitate two of the 11 historic structures, the federal government transferred the Admiral's Row property to the City of New York, and the Navy Yard fired PA Developers, allowing the development to move forward.

The Blumenfeld Development Group is most recently known for bringing a Costco, Target and Old Navy to the East River Plaza in East Harlem. The group expects to create 500 retail jobs at the Navy Yard. 

Also, in an area with limited food options, the promised supermarket will serve the nearly 40,000 residents who live within a 10-minute walk of the site, according to Shane Kavanagh, spokesman for the Navy Yard.

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz praised the project.

"Admiral's Row is a perfect example of ‘smart growth’ in Brooklyn — the preservation of historic structures, the creation of a thriving and sustainable retail and industrial center with guaranteed employment opportunities for Brooklynites, and fresh food options for an underserved community,” Markowitz said in a statement.

The project is expected to break ground in 2013.