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NEW YORK CITY — In a year that has already seen much in the way of exciting news for the Brooklyn Navy Yard, funding has been secured for two new projects. The New York state senate has provided $15 million over a 3-year period for the Green Manufacturing Center and the redevelopment of the former Marine Commandant’s House.

Three connected, former World War II machine shops will be renovated to create the 220,000-square-foot Green Manufacturing Center. The $30 million industrial project, which will begin construction in spring 2010, will be pursuing LEED-Silver certification with several sustainable features, including New York’s largest solar panel installation, which will be placed on the building’s roof. Construction is expected to take 18 months for the multi-tenant structure.

The 150-year old Marine Commandant’s House, also known as Building 92, will be redeveloped as an exhibition and visitor’s center. The 27,000-square-foot building will feature educational and community rooms, a rooftop café, a special events space and a landscaped courtyard. The project is expected to cost $19.5 million and will be built to LEED-Platinum standards. It will begin construction this month and should be completed by mid-2011.

On top of the $15 million provided by the senate, funding for the two projects is being provided by the NYC Council, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and the State Environmental Protection Fund.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard was founded in 1801 as a shipbuilding facility. Today, the 300-acre business park has become known as one of the centers for green manufacturing in New York City. The park contains more than 4 million square feet of space and more than 40 buildings.

“We’ve made a very strong commitment to make sure every investment [at Brooklyn navy Yard] is as green as possible,” says Andrew Kimball, president and CEO of Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp., which manages the park on behalf of the City of New York. Kimball adds that his company has two main reasons for the park’s green focus: being a good neighbor by keeping the industrial area’s carbon footprint as small as possible, and turning the Brooklyn Navy Yard into the destination of choice for green companies. “Most industrial businesses, in one way or another, are moving toward greening their operations and businesses, and we want to make sure that we do everything possible to attract those kinds of businesses, because we think they are the kind that have a long-term future in New York City,” Kimball says.

The two most recent projects are expected to create almost 300 green collar jobs to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. But that is not all that is happening at the center. Earlier this year, construction was completed for The Perry Avenue Building, an 89,000-square-foot, LEED-Gold industrial facility that featured building-mounted wind turbines and rooftop solar panels. This summer, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. sent out a request for proposal to develop a retail center at the 6-acre Admiral’s Row area. In the next 2 years, it is expected that more than 1.5 million square feet of new construction and 2,000 jobs will be added to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, much of it in the sustainable sector.

“It is clear that it [green development] is not only the smart thing, especially in dense urban areas, it’s also the right thing. All of us, as citizens of the planet, need to be focused on diminishing our footprint,” Kimball says, adding that consumers and businesses are increasingly choosing green products and building methods at a faster rate than anyone could have imagined, and manufacturers need to keep up with these shifting tastes.

— Coleman Wood

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