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Navy Yard gets fashion factory

Fashion designer Nanette Lepore is set to open a manufacturing and operations headquarters at Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard (BNYDC) announced a five-year lease with Lepore to occupy 5,000 s/f in the Yard’s Building 77.

“As a visionary designer and bold female entrepreneur, Nanette Lepore is my kind of New York success story,” said New York City Deputy Mayor for Housing & Economic Development Alicia Glen. “Her move to the Brooklyn Navy Yard is further demonstration that manufacturing and fashion are a true five-borough industry and a key component of the City’s economic future.”

“The Yard is quickly becoming a model for creating sustainable, made in NYC middle class jobs and Nanette Lepore is a perfect example,” said David Ehrenberg, President & CEO of BNYDC. “Nanette knows that Building 77 provides an ideal home for companies that want the flexibility to grow, and we’re thrilled to add her company to our growing roster of fashion manufacturing tenants.”

Lepore said she feels “lucky to be a part of this new community. I will continue to work closely with all the suppliers and factories in Manhattan’s Garment district who have been an integral part in building my business through the years.”

Lafayette 148 New York’s forthcoming move from SoHo to Building 77 led Lepore to consider the Yard and the move from the Garment District will allow the company to continue manufacturing nearly 80 percent of its products in New York City.

Other fashion tenants at the Yard include Abby Lichtman, Hip Hop Closet, Ilana Kohn and Justin Paul, among others.

Lepore’s move comes as the one-million-square-foot Building 77 undergoes the final stages of its $185 million transformation from World War II era-office and storage facility to urban manufacturing hub at the center of the Yard housing roughly 3,000 high-quality middle class jobs.

In addition to Lafayette 148, Building 77 is home to the film production company Casual Films, Vitamin Manufacturer Care Of, jewelry designer and manufacturer Catbird and fabrication and design studio SITU Studio. Most of Building 77’s tenants are vertically integrated companies.

Building 77 will also house a food manufacturing HUB on the ground floor, anchored by the 4th-generation New York City institution Russ & Daughters and will feature a range of purveyors, each of which will ship goods and run manufacturing operations from the building, as well as serve food in a publicly accessible lobby.

The renovation of Building 77 is a core segment of the Navy Yard’s current expansion, which also includes the development of Dock 72, a creative office building developed by Rudin Management and Boston Properties opening this fall; Admiral’s Row, which will house a light manufacturing and creative office building developed by Steiner NYC and a Wegmans supermarket; the Green Manufacturing Center; and an expanded Steiner Studios, the largest firm and television production studio outside Hollywood in the United States.

The $1 billion expansion – the Navy Yard’s largest since WWII – will add more than two million square feet of space and 10,000 new jobs by 2020, more than doubling employment at the Yard to more than 17,000 jobs.

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