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See the Brooklyn Navy Yard's Colossal Building 77 Before Reno

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The Brooklyn Navy Yard currently houses 7,000 jobs, and the complex is looking to give that a 5,000 job boost through three major projects. Plans are moving forward for the 250,000-square-foot Green Manufacturing Center, the long-in the works Admiral's Row redevelopment, and the king of them all, the one-million-square-foot Building 77, which is hoped to have 3,000 jobs alone. Officials from the Yard took reporters inside Building 77 this week, and revealed renderings of what the future may hold.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard hold more space than One World Trade Center and is about one-third the size of Central Park. It hit its all-time jobs number during World War II, when 70,000 people were employed there. The Yard has two aircraft carrier-sized dry docks, which are long enough to hold the Chrysler Building if you laid it on its side. David Ehrenberg, President & CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC) said they stopped building carriers here because they became too tall to get under the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and out to sea.

The yard eventually closed in 1966 and reached an all-time jobs low two years later. The city came in back in 2000 to help revive it with the first investment since World War II. The Navy Yard currently has 40 rentable buildings, and 3,000 jobs have been added in the past 10 years. It's currently at 100 percent occupancy.

Ehrenberg said they want a "dynamic ecosystem of industrial tenants." Current projects involve renovating old facilities to expand the opportunities and give the existing tenants room to grow. The Yard is also making $250 million in infrastructure improvements. Large ship components used to be constructed on the site of the Green Manufacturing Center, which is scheduled to be complete this year and have 800 jobs. Admiral's Row is scheduled for a 2017 completion and will have room for a 74,000-square-foot supermarket supermarket (which they say will be great for the NYCHA residents nearby), 127,000 square feet of light industrial space, and 79,000 square feet of other retail space.

[Renderings of Building 77]

The centerpiece of all of this is Building 77, which was built in 1942 and whose lower floors once served as general storage for the U.S. Navy. The top of it, and currently the only place with windows, housed the commandant's offices. Windows are being added to most of the 15.5-story building (the 16th floor is smaller and the same level as a 20,000-square-foot terrace), and making a slew of other modernizations totaling $140 million. Completion is expected in the third quarter of 2016.

Architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle is heading the makeover, and the Yard tapped Jones Land LaSalle to market the space. Floors 10 through 13 are already leased to current Brooklyn Navy Yard tenants, floors 2 through 9 are currently open, and floors 14-16 (which are about 200,000 square feet in total) are aimed at a single "marquee tenant." Whether the terrace, with its impressive views, would be accessible by all tenants or just one has yet to be decided.

Here is the floor-by-floor breakdown of square footage:
Two: 73,000 square feet
Three to 13: 80,000 square feet
14: 74,000 square feet
15: 66,000 square feet
16: 11,000 square feet

Moving to the Brooklyn Navy Yard comes with tax benefits for tenants, totaling $18 to $21 a square foot. Building 77 is also designated as a Foreign Trade Zone, which helps smooth the process of international trade and make it less expensive.


Ehrenberg also highlighted the Yard's job training and placement program, based on Building 92. They place about 200 internships a year and have job services for NYCHA residents, veterans, and the formerly incarcerated.
—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.
· Development Map of the Brooklyn Navy Yard [official]
· All Brooklyn Navy Yard coverage [Curbed]
· Brooklyn Navy Yard Economic Development Corporation [Official]