Testimony By State Senator Velmanette Montgomery Before The National Guard Bureau

Velmanette Montgomery

December 11, 2007

I am State Senator Velmanette Montgomery and I represent the 18th Senate District, which includes Sunset Park, Red Hook, Park Slope, Boerum Hill, Fort Greene/ Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and a part of Ocean Hill -- which encompasses over three hundred thousand (300,000) residents. This includes Farragut, Ingersoll and Whitman Houses and Vinegar Hill, communities immediately surrounding the Admiral’s Row area


I wish to start by expressing my appreciation for the amount of time, effort and funding (almost $100 million over the past 10 years) that the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation has invested to preserve and document the historical significance of the Navy Yard. In addition, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation is in the process of establishing the Brooklyn Navy Yard Historical Center in partnership with the Brooklyn Historical Society. The activities of the Center will include cataloguing photographs, building records and historical architectural and engineering drawings left by the Navy. The Center will be a permanent home for exhibits and educational activities related to the history of Brooklyn Navy Yard dating back to the 18th Century in America.

The communities of Farragut, Ingersoll/Whitman and Vinegar Hill have waited for more than 30 years
for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Corporation (BNYC), the Federal government and the City of New York to come up with a plan to build a first class supermarket in this area. During that time, we lost a number of services including a medium sized supermarket at Myrtle Avenue, near Flatbush. Today there is no supermarket within a mile of these neighborhoods. (Try walking a mile with a full shopping cart of groceries).

The proposal to redevelop Admiral’s row will allow the BNYDC to create a quality, affordable supermarket which will provide fresh produce and groceries to a currently underserved community.
In addition, the project will result in the creation of at least 500 new industrial and retail jobs. While this particular proposal for the re-use of existing blighted buildings is not specifically restoration, it does represent progress for those communities that now will have a supermarket. It will be a significantly historic act to create such a positive reuse of this site on behalf of the citizens we serve.

Therefore, I enthusiastically, support the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation Redevelopment Plan
. I join with the NewYork City Economic Development Corporation, the Economic Development Committee of Community Board Two and my colleagues in government: Council Member Letitia James, Assemblymembers Joe Lentol, and Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman Ed Towns, and State Senator Martin Connor all of whom support the concept of having a quality, affordable, accessible supermarket for the people in the people of Farragut, Ingersoll/Whitman and Vinegar Hill.