For years, Brooklyn Navy Yard sat underutilized, a massive piece of real estate on the Brooklyn waterfront filled with the relics of World War II.
But now, Washington, D.C.-based startup incubator 1776 is doing its part to revive the historic space.
1776 is setting up shop in the navy yard as the anchor tenant, opening the doors of a “beta” space as it continues work on its 32,000-square-foot campus nearby. The company is rehabbing part of a massive building that used to house munitions during World War II with plans to move into that space — called building 77 — in the first few months of 2017.
1776 is two things at once: a startup incubator with a focus on companies in highly-regulated spaces like healthcare, transportation, and education, and a seed-stage investor with 22 investments under its belt.
Business Insider got a tour of both the beta space, which officially opens Thursday evening, and building 77, which is still under construction. Check it out.
All of 1776's campuses -- in D.C., San Francisco, and eventually Dubai -- have the same Revolutionary War-inspired theme. The Brooklyn campus is no exception, especially with the George Washington mural on the wall.
Every campus also has this light fixture, which is actually an old boxspring refashioned into a chandelier.
1776 members will have access to snacks and coffee, and catered lunch twice a week. Brooklyn Roasting Company will supply the coffee, as both 1776 and Brooklyn Navy Yard are focused on keeping things locally sourced.
Members of 1776 will have plenty of spaces to work and relax. An unreserved desk will cost $350 per month, while a reserved spot will cost $450.
The space has several nods to Brooklyn Navy Yard's nautical past, including photos from the navy yard archive and ship steering wheels mounted on the wall.
1776 will offer classes for it members, like 'Regulatory Hacking' and 'Intro to NYC tech ecosystem.'
The company is ready to house startups in this space starting Thursday -- in fact, a few companies have already applied, site unseen. The main goal of 1776 is to provide those startups with support and guidance in dealing with local and state governments, plus access to a network of almost 1,000 experts.
Here's building 77, where 1776 will eventually live. Since the building used to house munitions, it only had windows on the top two floors, so the rest of the windows had to be added. Now, there are about 650 windows, 400 of which needed to be cut out of the existing building.
This is what building 77 will eventually look like. The building will have a rooftop beer garden operated by Brooklyn Brewery and will have a shared deck for the tenants to use. 1776 has a staircase that leads directly to the roof deck and two outdoor patio spaces on its own floor.
The ground floor will house a Russ & Daughters cafe, a Brooklyn Brewery location, and eight other vendors. Eventually, there will be a Citibike kiosk, shuttle and ferry service to the campus, and direct street access to building 77.
Here's 1776's space, which will eventually have open-plan workspaces and meeting rooms and will be designed to match the other 1776 locations.
1776 has a 15-year lease in the navy yard and is focused on helping to rebuild the area -- but not gentrify it. Many of those working on the construction of the space are local residents and the navy yard is working to keep the integrity of the yard intact. 1776 also uses local companies to supply ingredients for its food, like Mast Brothers chocolate.
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