The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation today announced redevelopment plans for Admirals Row that will bring a long-anticipated supermarket, new manufacturing space and a brand new community facility to the site. Wegmans Food Markets Inc., the country’s highest-ranking retail employer and supermarket operator, will anchor the $140 million redevelopment of Admirals Row led by Steiner NYC, the developer of Steiner Studios. Steiner was designated for the site by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), delivering on a promise made to the surrounding community to provide access to quality food and jobs.
The development of the Admirals Row site is projected to create more than 1,200 permanent jobs. Wegmans will initially hire 450 people, including 150 people in full-time positions. It is projected that the number of full-time positions may grow to as many as 250, with as many as 600 total jobs expected — twice the overall supermarket jobs and more than three times the full-time positions offered by other proposals vying for the site.
The company is an industry leader in providing good wages, paid leave, company-funded retirement plans and opportunities for education and career advancement. Wegmans will spend more than $2 million to recruit and train its workforce, and will utilize BNYDC’s Employment Center at BLDG 92 to recruit area residents for the jobs it will create. BNYDC’s local hiring plan includes collaboration with resident leaders from the local New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings and other community stakeholders, and includes setting up employment centers in the nearby NYCHA developments.
In addition, new light industrial space at the site will spur more than 300 good industrial jobs. The development site is directly across from the 3,000-resident Farragut Houses and is in close proximity to Ingersoll and Walt Whitman Houses and the growing residential neighborhoods in Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill – all of which lack a high quality, affordable supermarket. These are communities that have a longstanding need for good-paying jobs and a quality, affordable grocery store.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said “This is a tremendous win for this community and for the people of New York City. For thousands of residents who have waited for a supermarket with healthy food they can afford, for the people hoping the next good job at the Navy Yard could be theirs, the Admirals Row project delivers. We’re going to see hundreds of good jobs, modern manufacturing, a new community center, and a supermarket that’s responsive to the needs of our families. It’s not often that one project can do all these things. I congratulate the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Steiner NYC, Wegmans and all the community voices who have worked tirelessly for years to bring us to this day.”
“The Brooklyn Navy Yard is proud to deliver on its promise to bring a supermarket to this neighborhood,” said BNYDC President & CEO David Ehrenberg. “But not just any grocery store. Wegmans is widely recognized as the country’s best supermarket for its affordable, quality food and is also recognized as the best retail employer in the country. And one of the reasons we selected them was because their employee compensation is consistently equal to or better than other food retailers in markets where they have stores. With Wegmans and the entire redevelopment of Admirals Row, local residents will gain needed amenities and the Brooklyn Navy Yard will further its mission to create good-paying, high-quality jobs for area residents. We look forward to working with Wegmans, Steiner NYC, and our community on this meaningful project.”
“It is a thrill to bring Wegmans to Brooklyn, along with hundreds of new jobs. Our family started this company in 1916, and we built our business by always putting the needs of our employees first,” said Wegmans CEO Danny Wegman. “Our employees are part of our family, and they are the reason for our success. We are proud to be part of this exciting project and look forward to providing the very best quality and selection, consistent low prices, and incredible customer service to the local and wider Brooklyn community.”
BNYDC has also established aggressive community participation goals for the construction of the Admirals Row site, including 30 percent of the overall contract values awarded to certified minority/women-owned businesses and 15 percent of contracts targeted to local businesses within Brooklyn. Workforce goals for the construction phase of the project include 45 percent of jobs to be held by minority and/or women and a local workforce goal of 25 percent within local zip codes.
Customers, workers and the communities consistently rank Wegmans as the nation’s top supermarket in the country for quality, affordability and employee satisfaction. Wegmans new supermarket will provide value and opportunity to the surrounding community:
Local Hiring–Wegmans will work through the BNY Employment Center to maximize local hiring. BNY’s local hiring plan includes collaboration with resident leaders from the local New York City Housing Authority buildings and other community stakeholders, and includes setting up employment centers in the nearby NYCHA developments. Across its stores, 90 percent of Wegmans employees live in the surrounding community
Good Wages—For 18 consecutive years, Wegmans has ranked highly on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Construction jobs at the site will meet prevailing wage standards
Workforce Development–Wegmans will invest over $2 million in hiring and pre-opening training for employees
Community Investment–Wegmans has committed $150,000 over three years to collaborate with the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation on community programs
Local Access to Healthy Food–Store offerings will meet FRESH criteria, providing healthy and affordable produce.
In addition to the 74,000-square-foot supermarket, Steiner will develop 78,000 square feet of retail space, 126,000 square feet of light industrial space, and 7,000 square feet of community facility space. In order to accommodate ongoing demand, BNYDC has secured an option to build 100,000 square feet of additional light industrial space above a parking facility as well.
Wegmans, the 85-store, family-owned company, founded in 1916 in Rochester, NY, has been named one of the ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ by FORTUNE magazine for 18 consecutive years, ranking #7 in 2015 (the next highest-ranked retailer on the list came in at 26). It is one of only 12 “All Star” companies to be on this list every year since it was launched in 1998. Health care benefits are available for all full-time employees and part-time employees over 30 hours/week. The company also provides a robust benefits package including employee scholarships, a company funded retirement plan, 401k plan with company match, and paid vacation for full- and part-time employees. In addition, Wegmans invests heavily in employee training. And, because the company continues to grow and promotes from within, there are many opportunities for career advancement.
In terms of quality and affordability, Consumer Reports ranks it as the country’s top supermarket. Third-party studies of the Philadelphia and Washington DC area markets found that Wegmans is one of the most, if not the most, affordable grocery option, with prices 13% below the average. The company also ranked #1 for Corporate Reputation among the 100 ‘most-visible companies’ nationwide in the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ® study.
“We’ve been very fortunate to have Wegmans stores in our shopping centers for many years,” said Douglas C. Steiner, Chairman of Steiner NYC and Steiner Studios. “We’re thrilled to now be bringing Wegmans to New York City. Their workforce is treated right and has real opportunities for advancement. The result is that the employees are Wegmans’ secret sauce—they’re motivated to give customers a great shopping experience: great prices, great quality, and great service. I guess that’s why they employ twice as many people in their stores as their competition. Which in turn means more jobs for the diverse local neighborhoods they serve. They are simply the best supermarket in all respects.”
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said: “This project is going to activate a vital piece of the Navy Yard and open it up to this community as never before. This administration¹s priority is maximizing good jobs and opening up career paths for New Yorkers at every opportunity, something at which the Admirals Row development excels. This project meets this community¹s vital need for a supermarket, but it also invests even more in Fort Greene with more than 1,200 good jobs, workforce training and community development. It expands modern manufacturing and builds on the booming innovation sector in this corner of Brooklyn. We are thrilled to have Wegmans, one of the nation¹s foremost high-road employers, anchoring this development.”
“The evolution of the Brooklyn Navy Yard into an engine for 21st century opportunity has taken another important step forward with the redevelopment of Admirals Row. The new Admirals Row will address many of the challenges facing the communities surrounding the Brooklyn Navy Yard, including long-term food insecurity and access to local hiring opportunities in the retail and industrial sectors,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“A Wegmans supermarket coming to the Brooklyn Navy Yard…this is great news! At last the local residents will have ready access not just to a supermarket, but to the #1 rated supermarket in Consumer Reports! And the employees will be working for an organization that provides extensive benefits, including scholarships. This supermarket is projected to be both an important corporate neighbor and a good neighbor to the community,” said State Senator Velmanette Montgomery. “My thanks and congratulations to the Steiner family and to David Ehrenberg and the entire team at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for this wonderful win for the community!”
“Wegmans and the entire Admirals Row redevelopment will further the revitalization of the communities around the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” said BNYDC Board Chair Hank Gutman. “Local residents will have good jobs with excellent benefits and access to fresh produce and groceries. The Yard will also be able to attract new businesses and further accommodate current tenants with this added light industrial space. With Steiner, a longtime Yard tenant, at the helm, this project is guaranteed enduring success.”
“I was born and went to college in Syracuse,” recalled Robert Perris, district manager for Brooklyn Community Board 2. “Wegmans is well known upstate as a great place to work and a great place to shop. This is a win for everybody. The Navy Yard should be congratulated.”
“The addition of Wegmans supermarket to the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a major step forward to ensuring quality, fresh and affordable produce and foods in one of New York City’s food deserts. This new development will generate much needed jobs for residents in the area, particularly those in the nearby Farragut, Whitman and Ingersoll Houses. Wegmans will certainly boost economic activity and provide residents with direct access to wholesome, local food. We look forward to breaking ground on this full-service supermarket. Congrats to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and to Mayor de Blasio for their work on ensuring access to fresh food to all New Yorkers!” Carlo Scissura, President, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
The designation of Steiner NYC for the site follows a request for proposals that was issued by BNYDC last year. Work on the site, which also includes restoration of two of the site’s historic structures, is expected to begin later this year.
The 300-acre Brooklyn Navy Yard, the leading industrial park in New York City with 3.5 million square feet of leasable space in 40 buildings housing over 300 businesses, is fully occupied. The city-owned Navy Yard is currently undergoing its largest expansion since WWII and is on track to deliver more than 2 million square feet of new space and up to 9,000 additional jobs in the next five years. Employment in the Yard has increased from 3,500 jobs in 2001 to over 7,000 jobs today.