The Brooklyn Navy Yard has emerged as one of those rare, post-industrial-era success stories. The former shipyard, which closed in 1966, is now home to a mix of industries such as construction, cleantech, metal fabrication, film production, design, contracting, and even urban agriculture. The Wall Street Journal reported that the non-profit Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. will soon announce an $80 million renovation of Building 77, a monolithic concrete former ammunition depot and the largest structure on the 300-acre park.
Jack Basch plans on relocating his company, Shiel Medical Laboratory, from one building on the yard into Building 77. He will occupy 240,000-square-feet of space, and then rent out 180,000-square-feet to companies in his industry. Basch expects this move will allow him to add up to 400 jobs.
Renovation of the 16-story tower, which has been vacant for half a century, is expected to present unique challenges, including boring through 2-foot-thick concrete walls to add new windows.
This continued investment in the Navy Yard might be well worth it. According to a study by the Pratt Center, the “Navy Yard generates $2 billion in economic output and sustains 10,000 jobs and $390 million in earnings each year.”