Navy Yard development held back by property transfer

August 26, 2011 09:07AM

Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Admirals Row, the proposed six-acre site of a supermarket, retail and industrial facility, is moving through the city’s approval process, but one vital detail remains unresolved — the purchase of the land from the federal government.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, which manages the yard, had an arrangement with the feds to buy the land for just $1, but the government in now seeking market rate for the site, which is currently home to run-down historic 19th-century homes for military officers.

The city owns most of the Navy Yard, but Admirals Row belongs to the Army National Guard.

“We are still in negotiations with the city,” said Chris Gardner, a spokesman with the Army Corp of Engineers. “We don’t have any specific end date.”

If it progresses as planned, the development of Admirals Row would be the latest in a large expansion underway at the Navy Yard, fuelled by more than $200 million in basic infrastructure investments from the Bloomberg administration, including a recent $15 million commitment to build space for green manufacturers. 

Earlier this year, Rep. Nydia Velazquez wrote a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh, urging his office to push the transfer forward.

“Given the rapidly worsening state of the buildings, we now ask that the property be immediately transferred to the city,” she wrote in the letter, which was also signed by Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Edolphus Towns. [WSJ]