Feds hunt for new landlord at former Sunset Park Navy warehouse

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Sunset Park’s Federal Building No. 2, the former Navy warehouse near the waterfront, could be the largest vacant building for sale in the city at 1.1 million square feet. The city’s Economic Development Corporation, which is trying to turn the property into an affordable manufacturing space for the city’s displaced industrial tenants, issued a request for proposals in December and has since received six bids from parties including the Clarett Group and Industry City Associates, ranging from $500,000 to $10 million. But between extensive and necessary renovations, zoning restrictions and property taxes of $1 million per year, taking on the 94-year-old structure will prove difficult for whoever winds up with the keys. Under Industry City’s proposal, the city’s idea of leasing space to light manufacturers would be expanded to include technology start-ups and art studios, in order to stir up enough interested tenants. The last time the federal government tried to sell the building was in 2006, when the winning bidder, Time Equities, withdrew from the deal after spending $1.5 million in engineering and architectural fees to create the plans because of economic concerns. Time Equities did not submit another proposal this time around, said chairman Francis Greenburger, because “our reading of the market hasn’t really changed.”