Despite the angst of preservationists, the Army National Guard approved the demolition of nine of the 11 now−derelict houses at the Brooklyn Navy Yard known as Admirals’ Row.
The two buildings the National Guard wants to preserve on the six−acre site include the largest of the 10 former homes of Navy admirals, and a timber shed used for storage during the Navy Yard’s heyday of building ships.
The National Guard decision paves the way for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the nonprofit organization that manages the Navy Yard on behalf of the city, to buy the parcel.
The BNYDC plans to build a large supermarket on the site along with industrial space.
“After decades of analysis, planning, consensus building and discussion, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation is pleased that we have reached a tentative agreement with the National Guard Bureau regarding the potential redevelopment of Admiral’s Row,” said BNYDC President Andrew Kimball in a statement.
Kimball said the agreement calls for the BNYDC to seek proposals from the private sector for the redevelopment of the site in a way that preserves both the timber shed and the home.
“If a viable proposal is received, the Brooklyn Navy Yard will move forward with the acquisition of the property, resulting in new jobs, additional revenue for the city and state, a vitally important amenity of a new supermarket – the only one to serve the community −− and the reuse of what has become a blighted eyesore that has burdened the community and the Brooklyn Navy Yard for decades,” he said.
Kimball said the BNYDC will issue a request for proposals (RFP) within the next 90 days.
Preservationists, who have long fought to preserve all the homes, vowed to continue working toward their goal.
“We have hoped, and continue to hope, that more of these very significant historic buildings will be retained and incorporated into the development,” said Municipal Art Society Director of Advocacy and Policy Lisa Kersavage.
Kersavage said the MAS has developed feasible plans showing that preservation and development of the site can go hand in hand.