Collaborating with real estate appraisers, engineers and archaeologists, I created a market research report and map visualizations for a retail feasibility analysis of the historic Admiral’s Row properties in Brooklyn Navy Yard. Sadly, the existing structure, an historically unique, Civil War era timber house, was found to be structurally unsound and would need to be dismantled. We explored various alternative uses that would benefit the neighborhood and analyzed the market for retail and commercial uses.
Maps of retail activity in the subject neighborhood indicated a lack of almost every category of basic goods, such as food, personal care and general merchandise. These categories are typical retail expenditures for the PRIZM market segments defined by Nielsen for the area nearest the subject property. The following maps plot the location of grocery stores, pharmacies, full service restaurants and delis.
|Full Service Restaurants||Delis|
The maps indicated a lack of similar facilities in the residential areas nearest the subject property, specifically the blocks north and west of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and south of York Street. Without these facilities nearby, residents in the Farragut houses and the M1-2 district above the expressway had to go outside their immediate area to fulfill their retail needs for basic supplies (food and, especially, pharmacy).
I later revisited the project in the context of community gardening and food justice.
This visualization shows that the closest community garden to the Farragut Houses, adjacent to the Navy Yard, is Bridge Plaza Court garden, which is inconveniently located across the interchange for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Manhattan Bridge off-ramp. The next closest is at PS 67 in the Walt Whitman Houses across the expressway from Navy Yard. Most grocery stores in this area were bodegas and smaller sandwich shops and delis, with the next closest markets that do not require crossing an expressway being higher end specialty markets in the more expensive neighborhood of Vinegar Hill. Mapping the distances to community gardens, greenmarkets and supermarkets would give an interesting picture of food justice in the area.