See ya tow-morrow! Navy Yard leaders want to get rid of NYPD tow pound

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Photo gallery

Bird’s-eye view: A look from above at the future of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with the tow pound at the far left.
Plans for tow-morrow: Brooklyn Navy Yard bigwigs want to replace the hated Brooklyn Tow Pound on Navy Street with public space to house a new museum, potential daycare center, and classrooms.
Bridge to the water: Navy Yard leaders want to build a pedestrian walkway over the yard from Flushing Avenue down to the water.
Walk this way: Brooklyn Navy Yard leaders want to create a public space along a waterfront esplanade called the Barge Basin Loop on Kent Avenue.

They’re looking to shed a tow pound!

Leaders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard hoping to continue its transformation from a 300-acre shipyard into a vibrant commercial hub now say they want to rid it of one of its most hated eyesores — the NYPD’s Navy Street tow pound.

“We anticipate that the NYPD tow pound would either be relocated or we’d build over it,” said spokesman James Yolles. “The NYPD is aware of our long-term master plan and we look forward to further discussions with the department over the coming years.”

In the pound’s place, Yard bigwigs want to construct two buildings at opposite ends of a public plaza, with ground floor space in the larger of the buildings potentially becoming home to a science and engineering museum, and the other featuring classrooms, development space, and youth programs.

It’s all part of a 30-year plan to make the walled-off campus more neighborly, according to bigwigs who showed off renderings last Thursday while pointing out a new open-door policy.

“We’ve highlighted ways to better integrate the Yard with our neighbors, including through new waterfront open space, more welcoming entrances, and increased transportation options to the Yard,” said David Ehrenberg, the president and executive officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, a quasi-governmental agency that facilitates construction projects on the site. “With 300 acres on the Brooklyn waterfront, there’s no excuse for us not to dream big — and inspire other cities to do the same.”

Replacing the yard’s tow pound could be a long way off, but five other developments inside the space along the East River are in the works, including the Green Manufacturing Center, Building 77, Dock 72, Admiral’s Row, and Steiner Studios — and are all slated to be completed by 2019.

Officials say those developments will help create 30,000 jobs over the next few years and add 5.1 million square feet of manufacturing space.

Looking further into the future, officials also want to erect two new buildings on a vacant lot on Kent Avenue, which would rise on a new waterfront esplanade along a current man-made inlet called the Barge Basin Loop. And on Flushing Avenue, Navy Yard leaders plan to build another two structures for food manufacturing, and a pedestrian walkway from Flushing Avenue to the stop on the citywide ferry service expected to open next year.

But before breaking ground on the tow pound, Navy Yard honchos are asking the city to sign off on a rezoning request to nix some of the parking and loading dock requirements in order to make way for a science and engineering museum, classrooms dedicated to science, math, and technology programs for youngsters, and a potential daycare center on the ground floor of one of the two Navy Street buildings, according to Yolles, who said the rezoning would not allow for any additional height or density.

“We are requesting a special-use district that will reduce outdated parking and loading dock requirements and allow for education use,” he said. “The latter will allow the Yard to operate its forthcoming STEAM Center, along with a potential daycare center.”

Ironically, their is an easy way to get inside its gates right now: get your car towed. And thanks to the city’s proficent system of taking away illegally parked cars, the number of visitors to the yard has actually gone up over the last few years. In 2017, 25,727 four-wheelers were towed to the Yard, up from 21,227 the year before, and 19,515 in 2015, according to data from the Police Department, which said it’s aware of the Navy Yard’s 30-year vision to shutter the yard but has no plans to relocate.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 9:46 pm, October 7, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Lisa from Sunset Park says:
Great idea, put it in the South Bronx waterfront next to the 4 power plants and 30% of the City's garbage they handle, right next to Fresh Direct who received $200 million in subsidies to relocated from Long Island City gentrification zone and on NYSDOT land leased for 99 years to a Cuomo donor Fransisco Galesi, perfect.
Oct. 4, 2018, 3:55 pm
Moses Kestenbaum from Williamsburg ODA says:
Demolish the tow pound , no one needs it, no one wants it, everyone hates it.
Oct. 4, 2018, 7:48 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Demolish the pound and stop stealing people’s property, you ****ing savages.
Oct. 4, 2018, 8:47 pm
Ken from Greenpoint says:
so next time when you need to pick up your car from tow pound just take an uber to The Bronx.....
Oct. 5, 2018, 11:15 am
Mary from Bay Ridge says:
Build another lot and tow every entitled motorist breaking the law. Actually, just crush them into cubes and recycle them.
Oct. 5, 2018, 4:40 pm
Tali from Fort Greene says:
Pay your tickets you scofflaw bums or better yet, don't get tickets. It's not that hard, right Moishe?
Oct. 5, 2018, 6:23 pm
Peter from New Utrecht says:
Why are they planning so many "educational" initiatives in a place inaccessible to the public?
Oct. 5, 2018, 6:28 pm
Paul from greenpoint says:
I have no problem with a tow pound if it is done fairly. There are certainly people who flout the law but the city also views the pounds as a money making money grab sham. I had my car towed for parking about 14 feet from an unlined hydrant and it cost me $500 to get it back.
Oct. 9, 2018, 6:38 am
Paul from greenpoint says:
I have no problem with pounds in general, people certainly flout the law but the city also uses it as scam to get money. I had my car towed from an unlined hydrant parked app. 15 feet from it and had to pay $450 to get it back.
Oct. 9, 2018, 6:39 am

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