NEW YORK CITY—The Brooklyn Navy Yard announced an ambitious $2.5 billion plan to increase manufacturing capacity, stating it will add 10,000 new jobs, bringing total employment to the district to 30,000.
“This plan is the transformative next step in the decades-long investment by the Brooklyn Navy Yard to grow New York City’s manufacturing sector,” says David Ehrenberg, president of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. “We are at the start of a multi-generational period of growth that in the years ahead will return employment at the Yard to its highest levels since the 1940s while fueling a continued surge of manufacturing across the city.”
The proposal was created following two years of researching what industries are growing across the five boroughs, are compatible with the city’s plans for its future, and create high-quality jobs. The study also looked into what these industries need to sustain growth.
The $2.5 billion plan will add 5 million square feet of space with at least 75% dedicated to manufacturers in the food, apparel, tech, home goods and construction industries. The remaining space will house businesses in the creative, technology and innovation sectors.
Construction will begin following the completion of the $1 billion expansion already underway. The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation describes the initiative as the largest expansion of manufacturing in New York City in more than a century. The two phases of development will more than double the usable space at the Yard.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard rehabbed and renovated all major existing space, culminating with the $180 million rehabilitation of the one million square-foot Building 77, which opened in Nov. 2017, with more than 80% of the space leased.
The plan will serve as a national model for building vertical manufacturing facilities in dense urban environments, with the ground-up developments at the following sites as instructive examples: Kent Avenue (approximately 13 acres), Flushing Avenue (approximately 6.5 acres) and Navy Street (approximately 5 acres).
Each site will accommodate manufacturers who are starting, relocating or expanding their businesses. They will offer spaces for tenants to collaborate, and integrate with the local community. In addition, the plan provides training and support for businesses, connecting tenants and members of the community to the Yard’s onsite employment center.
After decades of decline, an uptick in manufacturing in recent years has fueled a need for affordable industrial and creative spaces in New York and in Brooklyn. Nationwide the US added 196,000 jobs in manufacturing in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, making it one of the highest growth sectors for the year.