Long defined by ghostly abandonment and decay, Admiral's Row took a major step towards its planned rebirth Monday.
Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert Steel and Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation president and CEO Andrew Kimball announced the beginning of a crucial step in the transfer of the six-acre site from the federal government to the city.
Starting Monday, the planned site of a supermarket, neighborhood retail and industrial development will go through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP.
“We are thrilled to be one step closer to delivering on our longstanding commitment to create 500 industrial and retail jobs on the Admirals Row and bring access to fresh, affordable produce to the community," Kimball said in a statement Monday.
The process is expected to be complete by October, after which the federal government is expected to sell the parcel to the city for a yet-to-be-determined sum.
With the process of transferring the Admiral's Row property stalled since 1996, area stakeholders welcomed news of this crucial first step in the redevelopment of an eerily-abandoned sliver of Brooklyn, full of crumbling manses once home to officers back when the Navy Yard was a bustling center for the U.S. military.
Elected officials in particular praised plans for a supermarket at the site.
“For 20 years, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with the support of Community Board 2 and elected officials at every level, has made it clear that the most appropriate redevelopment use of the six-acre Admirals Row site is for a major supermarket that will serve local residents, particularly the 10,000 residents of Farragut, Walt Whitman and Ingersoll Houses,” said Letitia James, D-Brooklyn.
The planned supermarket, which could break ground as soon as 2012, would join the Red Apple supermarket on Myrtle Avenue. That market, a venture by Gristedes-owner John Castimatidis, replaces an Associated grocery store bulldozed to make way for an apartment building.
Despite relief over the long-awaited announcement of the start of the ULURP process, it was clear the site still had a long way to go.
For starters, the land review process had to be completed before a developer could be selected. Thus far, the project has been driven solely by the city's $200 million investment as well as a recent $15 million capital commitment from the state Senate to build out more space for green manufacturers at the Navy Yard.
Also it seemed more and more likely that the architecturally and historically significant Second Empire-style homes would eventually be lost forever.
Representatives from the National Guard, which found out by accident that they owned the title to the Admiral Row's section of the 300-acre Navy Yard site in 2007, has said it had the long-neglected historic buildings.