Brooklyn Army Terminal will host climate innovation pilot program

New York City Economic Development Corp. CEO Andrew Kimball announced the program’s launch at an economic and workforce development summit hosted by City & State.

New York City Economic Development Corp. CEO Andrew Kimball speaks to attendees at the Economic and Workforce Development Summit hosted by City & State.

New York City Economic Development Corp. CEO Andrew Kimball speaks to attendees at the Economic and Workforce Development Summit hosted by City & State. Sunny Sequeira

The New York City Economic Development Corporation announced the launch of a climate innovation pilot program based in the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park that will support companies in determining solutions for problems surrounding energy, transportation and building decarbonization. 

Andrew Kimball, the organization’s president and CEO, made the announcement at the end of his keynote speech at the “Economic and Workforce Development Summit” hosted by City & State at Hebrew Union College in Manhattan Thursday. Attendees at the summit included nonprofit leaders, industry executives and academics.

“We're going to be testing technologies all over this building – plumbing and water systems, roof areas, parking spaces, electrical connections, waterfront access, heating and boiler systems, building façades and windows, roadways and sidewalks,” said Kimball, describing the new pilot program. “We have an enormous opportunity in Sunset Park. We have an environmental justice community that's been very focused on helping our legacy industrial manufacturing companies transition to take advantage of this new green economy where we have actual physical assets that we can use as a test case.”

Three companies will begin testing their products this month. Conversation Labs’ water monitor uses AI to regulate water usage and identify leaks. New York City based startup Enertiv will pilot a product that provides insights into utility usage. Trakref’s refrigerant management software aims to minimize carbon emissions. 

“There's no reason that Brooklyn Army Terminal can't be as dynamic as the Navy Yard or places like Industry City in the coming years,” noted Kimball. “The reality is, it is incredibly dynamic. Today we have about four million square feet of space leased there and 4,000 jobs. For space that we can lease today, we’re 95% occupied.”

Companies will gain access to over 200 acres of space that will allow them to develop products and host live demonstrations for customers and investors. The climate innovation program joins others at Brooklyn Navy Yard and Governors Island that push for urban innovation in the city. 

“Brooklyn Army Terminal is amazing in terms of its location – right on the water with ferry service coming in,” said Kimball. “There's about half a million square feet yet to be developed. We think that this can be an extraordinary site to drive innovation and test prop tech and emerging tech companies, especially around energy mobility and building sectors.” 

The EDC will hold applications for the program every three months. The organization hopes to underscore the benefits of public-private partnerships.

“There's over 500 million square feet of city owned buildings in New York City where we ought to be doing this kind of testing and driving the opportunity for small business, especially MWBE firms so they can get in the game,” said Kimball. “We're going to continue to do that in the coming months.” 

Kimball was introduced to attendees by longtime friend Dean Angelakos, executive director of Greater New York LECET.