Techies on a Hill: City’s Third Tech Campus, at Old Brooklyn Navy Yards Hospital, Unveiled

Brooklyn’s DIY tech campus. (Steiner Studios/NYT)

Back in the Spring, The Observer traveled to Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where Doug Steiner is working on building the biggest movie studio outside of Hollywood. Part of that plan is building a new media-tech campus, including a new grad school for Brooklyn College’s film program that is already under construction in old radio building at the foot of Washington Avenue.

The marquee feature is a 20 acre satellite for Carnegie Mellon University, to be located on the site of a former naval hospital. On Friday, The Times revealed both a rendering of the project and the fact that the city and Steiner Studios were close to a deal for redeveloping the property.

Mr. Steiner, who owns the adjacent Steiner Studios movie and television production center, would connect the site to his property to create a 50-acre lot to be called a media campus. The project, which would cost nearly $400 million and take 12 years to build, would use the nine historical buildings on the site and create five new structures for a total of 328,000 square feet, housing media companies and academic programs. There would also be 100,000 square feet of new stages for film and TV, including the first underwater stage in the country and the first back lot on the East Coast to feature a New York City streetscape.


To make the plan viable and to build out the site’s infrastructure, including water, sewers and electricity, the developers are seeking $35 million from New York State and New York City and $2.5 million from the federal government.

Over the years, the site has been the focus of a series of failed proposals, most recently as a possible location for the city’s applied sciences campus, which eventually went to Roosevelt Island. But the developers say they are hopeful that this project will have more traction.

What is cool about the proposal is it will have that traditional collegiate feel. Some of these buildings date back to the Civil War era, when the Navy Yards was just becoming a hub of American naval power, and it helped churn out the famous ship U.S.S. Monitor, the first ironclad warship ever built.

Nowhere else in the city could a school come in and find itself sitting on a historic quad—to say nothing of a centuries-old history of innovation.

Techies on a Hill: City’s Third Tech Campus, at Old Brooklyn Navy Yards Hospital, Unveiled