The Nets unveiled plans for their 70,000 square foot practice facility in Industry City Thursday, hours before the NBA Draft, an addition the team hopes will attract free agents and other personnel ... and further cement the franchise's connection to the city of New York and the borough of Brooklyn.
The facility will be named the Hospital for Special Surgery Training Center, or HSS Center, after the famed orthopedic Manhattan hospital that bought naming rights for the center. The Nets practice jerseys will feature the HSS logo.
"Nothing but Net," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, describing the feel of the 70,000 square foot facility, that will occupy the eighth and ninth floors of a century-old warehouse building at 148 39th Street. The current ceiling will be raised to 34 feet across the top of the building. Construction is expected to start soon and be complete by the 2015 training camp. Some demolition work is already underway. Although the Nets did not put a price tag on the facility, league sources have said it could cost up to $45 million.
The facility features world-class amenities, said the Nets in a press release, including two full basketball courts, a weight room, a training pool and two hydro pools, a rooftop entertainment space, an 18-seat multimedia theater, 3,000 square feet of hospitality/players’ lounge space, and a media interview/workroom. Offices for GM Billy King and Head Coach Jason Kidd will also be at the center. The team released renderings of the facility's exterior as well as selected interiors and a floor plan. David Manica, a well known sports architect from Kansas City and Mancini Duffy, a New York firm, are responsible for the design.
HSS Center replaces the PNY Center in East Rutherford, where the team has practiced for the past 15 years. Before that, the Nets players showered with truck drivers at a warehouse facility they shared with a trucking company.
As Irina Pavlova, president of ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment, noted, the facility will finally bring all the Nets offices to Brooklyn. Pavlova said the Nets will "train, work and play in Brooklyn." Pavlova, mastermind of the project, said she and her team had looked at 50 different sites over two years before finally choosing Industry City.
"Now, our arena, training center and offices will all be together in this great borough," said Pavlova. Then, in what could be a retort to stories that Mikhail Prokhorov is listening to offers for the team, she added,. "The team's ownership is committed to making the Brooklyn Nets a championship caliber team, and a best in class team deserves a best in class training center."
Billy King, who took an hour off from fielding calls at the PNY Center, said the facility, with its world class amenities and spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, would help team recruiting. He also noted the Nets are the only NBA team with a practice facility in New York City. "There's another team that doesn't." The New York Knicks practice along with the Rangers in Westchester.
As for Kidd, he thanked Pavlova and promised, "I'll make sure I don't spill any Cokes." On a serious note, he said the facility can be a lure for free agents.
"You look at the tools that can help (in free agency)," Kidd said. "You look at the practice facility, you look at Barclays Center and what the franchise stands for — which is first class."
The Nets landlord, Jamestown Properties, hopes that facility along with a lot of other youth-oriented commercial businesses will transform what is a gritty, urban landscape into the next DUMBO or Meatpacking District.
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