BAT Block Party: The Brooklyn Army Terminal 100th Anniversary Community Event

September 2018. Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn Army Terminal

To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the storied Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT), New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) chose Empire as their partner to develop and execute a community Block Party for thousands of attendees across the massive 4 million square foot complex to commemorate the occasion.

Originally constructed to facilitate the movement of troops and material for World War I, the Brooklyn Army Terminal came into full use during World War II when more than 20,000 military and civilian personnel were employed there. The terminal was the headquarters for the New York Port of Embarkation, a region-wide operation covering more than a dozen facilities that moved 3.2 million troops and 37 million tons of military supplies to fronts across the globe. Arguably the most famous soldier to deploy from the Brooklyn Army Terminal was Elvis Presley. He greeted fans and dozens of photojournalists in September 1958 when he shipped off from Brooklyn to Germany. BAT was closed as an army base in the 1960s, and was reopened in 1986 under the management of NYCEDC for industrial businesses. Since then, NYCEDC has been transforming BAT into the premier, affordable hub for modern industrial businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in NYC.

The first-ever BAT Block Party took place on September 15, 2018, a day filled with fun activities for attendees of all ages. The thousands of attendees enjoyed an array of activities including a yoga class by NYC Yoga, an art exhibit by ArtBuilt and ChaShaMa artists; product demos from BAT-based companies like Uncommon Goods and Lowercase NYC; family-friendly activities like kite making, crafts and book-making; an art installation by Harumi Ori, and an interactive and historic augmented reality experience from NYU Tandon and NYC Media Lab partners. There was also a rock-climbing wall with the NYPD, while and a FDNY fire truck so that kids could get a look inside a real fire engine. BAT tenants, local food vendors, beer companies and several food trucks from the NYC Food Truck Association provided food and beverages.

Vendors included City Saucery, Momo Dressing, Jamrock Jerk, and more. Attendees were able to sit along the waterfront and enjoy great food and drink and watch a Rooftop Film screening on a massive screen at the end of Pier 4.

In addition to developing the overall site plan for the event and working closely with EDC and BAT staff on logistical coordination for all of the participants, Empire provided turn key production for a mobile concert stage. The stage provided a full afternoon of performances from local community dance groups, yoga groups, local community leaders and other local personalities were on hand to help in the celebration.

The day built up to a fabulous evening of entertainment provided by Empire featuring an array of Brooklyn-born and based talent including DJ Natasha Diggs, rising R&B star, Justine Skye and culminating with a headline performance by grammy-nominated rapper, Busta Rhymes.

Empire is proud to work with this New York organization. To learn more about BAT and its facilities visit

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