The historically isolated, walled-off Brooklyn Navy Yard will soon be getting a space that aims to serve as a gateway to the public, complete with a food court and gathering places for employees.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., the nonprofit that runs the industrial park, announced on Tuesday that Marvel Architects will be designing a renovation of the base of BLDG 77 that will see the interior flanked by rows of retail spaces, Crain’s reported. Many will be food production tenants that can sell takeout in the building and ship their products out the back.
“The building essentially has two front yards,” said Jonathan Marvel, founder of Marvel Architects. “One side faces Flushing Avenue and the other faces the [industrial park]. What we’re trying to do is connect the two.”
In addition to giving the public a reason to visit, this will be the only permanent space in the yard where 7,000 employees can get lunch. No other retail exists within the confines of the industrial park.
“Fifteen years ago the yard was surrounded by razor wire … and was not a place you thought to go for any reason except getting your impounded car,” said David Ehrenberg, president of the BNYDC. “But we have been trying, in a controlled way, to invite the public in while still maintaining the industrial uses.”
The facility is expected to open in late 2016, when an overall renovation of BLDG 77 is also slated to be completed.