After much ado about broadening operations to the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a new 75,000-square-foot production brewery, beer garden, and food court, Brooklyn Brewery has announced that they will remain in their Williamsburg location and have no further plans to launch in the Navy Yard’s Building 77 in 2018.
On Thursday, January 9, a statement from Brooklyn Brewery founder and chairman, Steve Hindy, was published on the Brooklyn Brewery blog to explain the six-month saga of the brewery’s previously announced move and recent decision to stay: “[A] few years ago, we began to come to grips with the reality that we likely would not be able to renew leases with our three landlords — a total of 70,000 square feet,” Hindy said in the statement, having previously revealed the brewery’s original 1990 rent price of $3 a foot. “Rents are now 10 times what they were 25 years ago.”
According to the statement, Brooklyn Brewery had begun planning the Brooklyn Navy Yard expansion due to the possibility that their leases would not be renewed as the area became more profitable for commercial ventures like hotels, food markets, and banks. However, after Mayor de Blasio’s Industrial Action Plan to limit commercial development in New York’s Industrial Business Zones (IBZs), originally affecting East New York, signaled it would be continuing into North Brooklyn, Brooklyn Brewery heard from two of their three landlords that their leases may be extended to 2025. (The third lease, for a warehouse across the street, is not in the IBZ and will likely be turned into a more profitable venture for that landlord).
And the Navy Yard need not worry about filling Building 77 — according to the statement, 90 percent of the space has already been leased to other small manufacturers.
Brooklyn Brewery was founded in 1988 and set up shop in 1990 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where it opened to the public six years later. Initially “lucky to draw a dozen people” on Friday nights, the brewery hosts about 4,000 visitors every weekend.