View Full Version : Uncertain Future of Brooklyn Port

April 4th, 2003, 04:23 AM
April 4, 2003
Leaseholders at Brooklyn Port Worry What Study May Bring

The city has hired a consultant to study uses for approximately 100 acres of Red Hook waterfront that now serve as Brooklyn's last active port, raising the possibility that the site will become a park, a museum or luxury housing.

In February, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the city's Economic Development Corporation hired Hamilton, Rabinowitz & Alschuler, a Manhattan consulting firm, to come up with possible uses for the site, whose 1.3 miles of shorefront property offer expansive views of Lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. The same firm developed a plan for the adjacent Brooklyn Bridge Park three years ago.

But the port's two current leaseholders, American Stevedoring and American Warehousing, are angered by the study, saying they have worked hard to make the port a viable business that reduces traffic and provides jobs.

Sal Catucci, the chief executive of American Stevedoring, said that since his company came in nine years ago, the port has blossomed from a failing operation into one that employs more than 500 workers and handles up to 100,000 shipping containers a year, in addition to break-bulk, or noncontainer, shipping.

"We grew this pier from no cocoa to the largest cocoa port in the U.S.," Mr. Catucci said, adding that the port also receives coffee, lumber and other goods. "We expected to lose money the first year, but we made money."

It is a small reversal of a 50-year trend in which most of New York City's marine cargo activity moved to New Jersey ports. Supporters of the Red Hook port say that bringing some of that activity back allows goods to go directly to destinations in Brooklyn and Queens and on Long Island, avoiding the time and expense of trucking it from New Jersey. Opponents say that the larger New Jersey ports receive goods to distribute throughout the United States, making it impractical to funnel them directly to Red Hook.

The port, which includes Piers 6 through 12, is bounded by Red Hook, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. Mr. Catucci said several businesses were interested in leasing space there, including a company that would store and distribute beer, bringing in 650 more jobs. The site's uncertain prospects could jeopardize such contracts, he said, adding that he was surprised when he heard about the study from a community group.

Steve Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman, said the study should not come as a surprise to anyone because the tenants' two-year lease extension expires in 2004. And he said the study does not necessarily suggest that the port is doomed.

"Last year, when the lease was renegotiated, we went into it with an understanding that we were going to look at possible uses," he said. "It might be maritime, it might not."

Hamilton, Rabinowitz & Alschuler is scheduled to make its recommendations in July. On Monday night, representatives are to meet with members of Community Board 6, the Port Authority, the Economic Development Corporation and the current tenants to discuss the site.

Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the development corporation, said the city was waiting to see the study's findings. "Things have changed with Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island," she said. "We want to make sure it fits in that whole context."

An important factor in the port's future is a barge that ferries cargo between Red Hook and Port Newark. Its use alleviates truck traffic, reducing noise and emissions on city streets. But it costs $7 million to $10 million a year; about 40 percent of that comes from the Port Authority, which does not want to continue paying for it.

Mike Scotto, president of American Warehousing, said the barge could be used less if the Port Authority would organize shipments destined for New York City to be dropped off in Red Hook before landing in Newark.

Mr. Scotto and Mr. Catucci said the Port Authority seemed to favor New Jersey ports over theirs.

But Mr. Coleman said that was not the case. "We've been supporting the facilities that we operate on both sides," he said of the Port Authority, "and will continue to do so."

Jerry Armer, chairman of Community Board 6, said it was important that the site continue its maritime use. "That doesn't mean it has to remain a container port," he said, noting that it could have other maritime-related businesses. One possibility is a cruise line; Carnival Cruises has expressed interest in using one pier as a terminal.

But some say Brooklyn's maritime days are over. Buddy Scotto, a community leader who is not related to Mike Scotto, called Brooklyn a "third-world waterfront," and said he would like to see it become like Battery Park City or the South Street Seaport in Manhattan. "The views that we have on that waterfront are absolutely spectacular," he said. "We have developers in here right now falling all over themselves to get in there."

That does not comfort Bette Stoltz, executive director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, who said she worried that luxury waterfront housing would be too expensive for most neighborhood residents.

She also called the elimination of maritime activity shortsighted. "We need to consider what New York is going to need in another 30 years," she said. "I mean, this is your port you're talking about. This is not a replaceable commodity."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

April 4th, 2003, 10:07 AM
I love waterfront housing and parks, but there is so much damn derelict waterfront that that is what should be developed, not something that is working and providing jobs. *FINISH QUEENS WEST, for God's sake.

And I'm sick and tired on the PA favoring friggin' Jersey. When is NYC gonna get their sh*t together, ditch the PA, and, sh*t, ditch the rest of NYS - Pataki is another a-hole. *Greater New York state - yes!

April 5th, 2003, 09:29 AM
Queens West should be another thread, but only the sothern most part (by Newtown creek) is in play w/ the olympics. *The rest is supposed to be planned and moving along. *The Northermost area (Pepsi-ville) is supposed to be underway by Rockrose w/ Arquitonica (sp?- Miami, Westin TS) as the architect. *I just want them to move. *Also get moving on the office space. *This is what the gov't does - over 15 yrs, 2 buildings. *Look at JC, 15 yrs, many buildings. Damnit!

April 5th, 2003, 12:10 PM
Let me be clear: *You wouldn't be upset if there were no more seaports in NYC itself? *I find the idea upsetting. *

April 5th, 2003, 02:00 PM
billy, infastructure must first be in place. QueensWest is in the process, development should follow soon afterwards.

May 25th, 2003, 10:18 PM
Atlantic Basin and Brooklyn skyline.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/waterfront/brooklyn_passenger_terminal/brooklyn_waterfront_atlantic_basin_skyline_17may03 .jpg

July 8th, 2003, 12:56 AM
July 8, 2003

Proposals Sought for Use of Brooklyn Container Port


Port officials asked maritime companies yesterday to submit proposals for using the last active port in Brooklyn as the city proceeds with a separate study to determine its future.

Expressions of interest in the container port, at Piers 9 to 11 in South Brooklyn, are not binding but would let officials judge the economic viability of maritime activities there. American Stevedoring operates the piers.

"This is for people out there to tell us are they interested in operating this terminal for maritime cargo uses and what those uses would be," said Peter J. Zantal, a general manager at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the piers. "Talk's cheap," he said, "and it's kind of getting to the point where if people really are interested, it is time to put their cards on the table."

The request comes as the city hashes out larger questions about the waterfront's future in a study of Piers 6 through 12. The study, being conducted by Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler, is to be completed by the end of September and has raised the possibility of other uses, including housing and cultural institutions. The Port Authority is giving up Piers 1 through 5, in Brooklyn Heights, for the creation of a park, and Carnival, the cruise line company, has indicated interest in putting a passenger terminal at Pier 7, near Atlantic Avenue.

Port Authority officials said some maritime companies had indicated that they would be interested in using Piers 9 to 11 and that they expected detailed submissions on those plans. Officials would not say which companies those were, but Mr. Zantal said proposals were expected from businesses like steamship operators and ocean carrier companies.

Sal Catucci, chief executive of American Stevedoring, already stung by the decision to study other uses for the piers that house his business, objected to this latest solicitation. He said that when the Port Authority agreed to his most recent lease, which expires in April, officials said they would investigate a variety of possible uses for the site. "Now they've gone out to find interest in the piers," he said. "They know that they don't have any."

Mr. Catucci said that he had transformed a failing venture into a thriving one and that he could do even more if he had the chance. Several companies were interested in leasing space, he said, but he added that the uncertainty over his future was costing him those contracts.

Many community development advocates also say they fear officials are insufficiently committed to promoting maritime uses for the piers.

Port Authority and city officials say they hope Mr. Catucci will be among those submitting proposals. Joshua J. Sirefman, chief operating officer of the city's Economic Development Corporation, said the responses would help officials shape a plan to encourage commercial and job growth, rather than coming up with the plan and testing it later. Officials, he said, are "working to understand the whole of maritime commerce in the context of the harbor, in the context of a changing waterfront and in the context of the neighborhoods that surround it."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

July 8th, 2003, 02:04 AM
Officials, he said, are "working to understand the whole of maritime commerce in the context of the harbor, in the context of a changing waterfront and in the context of the neighborhoods that surround it."

Doesn't the lifelessly banal way bureaucrats speak give you chills sometimes?

July 8th, 2003, 10:14 AM
Or, we would like more and more to go to NJ ports. *Thank you very much.

July 8th, 2003, 10:44 AM

TLOZ Link5
July 8th, 2003, 10:16 PM
Normally, I'm all for waterfront revitalization...but this is ridiculous. *This isn't a dilapidated, unused stretch of coastline we're talking about; it's a functional seaport with absolutely nothing wrong with it.

July 8th, 2003, 10:40 PM
TLOZ, I'm with you on this. If this housing plan goes through, only the New Jersey ports of Newark and Elizabeth, and the Howland Hook port in Staten Island, will be left. the Port of Bayonne, from what I hear, is closed or in the process of closing. How much more downsizing can New York Harbor take?

July 9th, 2003, 04:27 AM
Commerce has changed, ports are moving to cheaper locales but NYC still stands strong with its legacy. And in the end all the goods must still flow in though they may arrive more via air, rail and road these days.

I'd rather have the city focused on rediscovering its waterfronts for the people than trying to keep an increasingly corrupt, polluting and paranoid industry alive and fencing off our shores.

Been there, done that. The romantic age of the international shipping port is over, NYC enjoyed a good chunk, now it's time to take back our rivers and bays and let some other cities have the stark, ugly acres of dull pavement that make up a port in 2003.

The romance is dead for me. There aren't anymore prostitutes waiting for the boats with whiskey bottles in hand. Our local economy has moved on and ports in NA are quite boring and restrictive these days.

(Edited by enzo at 4:32 am on July 9, 2003)

July 9th, 2003, 07:34 AM

With 600 miles of shoreline, there's opportunity for all four.

This is a profitable port with room for expansion. To understand this study, go to Columbia St and Atlantic Ave. Drop dead views of Manhattan. What will happen is another Trump Place - they won't even need to provide a community park, with Brooklyn Bridge Park just to the north.

Local residents will be forced out, at a time when the area is finally bouncing back.

This would also conflict with the city's own initiatives:

July 21st, 2003, 09:57 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com
PA is port's worst enemy

Monday, July 21st, 2003

In 1993, American Stevedoring leased from the Port Authority the Red Hook Container Terminal - strewn with trash and populated by stray dogs - and turned it into a successful freight enterprise employing 600 people. The company is still growing, even in this slow economy, as Carnival Cruise lines, a major beer distributor and others seek to sign contracts to dock and unload at the Brooklyn piers. All this is a boon to the borough.

But instead of helping American Stevedoring or even just extending its lease, which expires in April, the Port Authority has hired a consultant to study new uses for the site, the last working container port in Brooklyn. The PA and the city's Economic Development Corp. also have begun a bidding process to find firms interested in taking over operation of the piers or perhaps to build housing there. Guess they've never heard the caveat, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Not only ain't it broke, it's thriving. Besides, in the late '90s, the city and the PA conducted separate studies on the Brooklyn piers. Both concluded that the best use was a container port.

A PA spokesman admits the agency has never tried to oust a successful tenant. In fact, three years ago, when the Maersk-Sealand shipping line threatened to leave Port Elizabeth, N.J., the agency coughed up hundreds of millions for dredging and modernization.

Red Hook, however, is treated like the PA's red-headed stepchild. The agency complains about the $4 million annual cost of floating containers on a barge across the harbor. But that's necessary only because the PA never fulfilled its long-stalled promise to build a rail freight tunnel from New Jersey to Brooklyn. The tunnel would have ensured New York's rightful place as the East Coast's hub port. Without it, this region must compete - at a disadvantage - with Norfolk, Va., and Halifax, Nova Scotia, to try to attract ships.

Currently, those ships must squeeze through the shallow Kill Van Kull to Jersey's ports and rail connections. The Army Corps of Engineers says it will cost $3 billion to blast through bedrock to deepen the waterways to Jersey. And even that won't be enough. The PA will have to spend hundreds of millions more to raise the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate the next generation of container ships.

In August, the captain of the Tianjin, en route from China to Port Elizabeth, realized his ship would not fit under the span. He had to unload his cargo elsewhere. Dozens of other vessels can't fit under the bridge either. So what happens when the new supersize post-Panamax ships start arriving here? Moot question. Unless the PA can lower the ocean, they won't be arriving here.

The PA must use every available acre of dock space in Brooklyn. New York Harbor is naturally deep and can easily accommodate the behemoths being built. Fitting under the Verrazano Bridge is not an issue. The only issue is the agency's anti-New York bias.

Get over that bias, and this will be a hub port.

July 22nd, 2003, 11:13 AM
Thank God somebody is finally telling it like it is. *PA should be taken control of already. NYC has suffered long enough. *This is why Rudy wanted to privatize the airports, which I suppoerted 100%. *Friggin' Newark got all the goodies for years. *Damnit, I'm sick.

July 22nd, 2003, 04:36 PM
Why build a huge container port in Brooklyn when ..

A.) there's no place to store all the empty containers, drive by Port Newark on the Turnpike and check out the mountains of containers.

B.) most of the cargo would not be destined for Brooklyn but rather places as far away as Albany and Pennsylvania that are better connected to New Jersey.

I think Red Hook should continue as a port , but there's no room to do what all these Politicians like Nadler boast about.'

There's no room to store containers, there's no rail link to New Jersey, and there's no decent roads leading to and from Red Hook.

July 23rd, 2003, 02:13 PM
Do You Want Your Voices Heard?!

Come to a Public Meeting held by American Stevedoring, the company currently operating Piers 6-12 on:

Monday 28th July, 2003


110 West 9th Street, Brooklyn

New York 11231


Everyone's attendance is warmly welcomed and we look forward to seeing you all next week. :)

July 23rd, 2003, 03:49 PM


Brooklyn's last remaining port, the jobs it provides, and the surrounding community, are under attack. As the latest target of flawed redevelopment policy, Red Hook's thriving port is in danger of being turned into a site for big box retail and luxury housing.

Our port has a proud heritage and is a valuable asset to the borough and the city as a whole.

The time to act is now.

Come and make your voices heard at a public meeting to discuss the fate of Piers 6-12. The port operator American Stevedoring is hosting this meeting to dispel the myths and half truths being passed of as fact by the big business interests who are attempting to quietly reshape the Brooklyn Waterfront.

The meeting will be attended by representatives of our elected officials, community board representatives, and most importantly by your friends and neighbors.


Meeting Location Information:

Monday, July 28th, 2003
PAL Miccio Center
110 West 9th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Registration is at 6:00 pm

For more information call 1-800-503-9911 extension 114
visit http://www.redhookpiers.com

Everyone's attendance is warmly welcomed and we look forward to seeing you all next week. *:)

August 19th, 2003, 09:27 AM

(718) 643-3027, EXT. 205

August 13, 2003 – In response to the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s ongoing study of the future of the Red Hook Containerport at Piers 6-12, Brooklyn Community Board 6 (CB6) launched an interactive website (www.WaterfrontMatters.org) to supplement outreach efforts and ensure that the public would have a way of participating in the study.

“New York City has 578 miles of waterfront and that’s not about to change,” remarked Craig Hammerman, District Manager of CB6. “The decisions we make about our waterfront, particularly how it’s used, can never involve enough public participation. That’s the motivation
behind the website. We’re doing this because as the title implies our waterfront matters to us.” WaterfrontMatters.org provides a direct opportunity for the public to make statements and share their opinions, ideas and concerns for the future of this stretch of Brooklyn’s waterfront. Piers 6- 12 covers the Brooklyn waterfront from Atlantic Avenue in the Columbia Street District to Wolcott Street in Red Hook. Numerous waterfront advocates, maritime specialists, as well as
local residents and businesses, have already submitted statements.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler, for example, recently posted a statement on the site. “Piers 6-12, Brooklyn's only remaining working Port, is of critical importance to New York City and the entire region,” stated Nadler on the website. “It not only allows us to remain in the running to become the Hub Port for the entire East Coast, but it also means good high paying jobs for all
New Yorkers.” The full text of Nadler’s comments is available on the website for viewing. Statements from other elected officials are pending.

Also of note, the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance’s newsletter Waterwire News recently profiled the CB6 website in their Summer issue. “Throw a stone in any direction from Brooklyn’s Piers 6-12 and you’ll hit some of the area’s most glorious waterfront treasures,” observes Waterwire reporter Virginia Terry. The full text of the Waterwire story is available at http://www.waterwire.net/News/fullstory.cfm?.

CB6 encourages visitors to return to the site frequently for updates on meetings and events as they are planned, and to submit their own statements for the world to see. The statements will all be submitted to the study’s consultant for consideration and formal inclusion in the record.
# # #

250 Baltic Street • Brooklyn, New York 11201 • Telephone: (718) 643-3027 • Fax: (718) 624-8410
email: info@brooklyncb6.org • “visit us online at www.brooklyncb6.org”

February 4th, 2004, 12:03 AM
February 4, 2004

Is a Blue-Collar Future a Luxury on the Waterfront?


Sabato F. Catucci stalks the piers on the Red Hook waterfront in Brooklyn, where he has built a thriving business handling cargo containers, lumber, coffee and cacao beans. Mr. Catucci, the owner of American Stevedoring, has plans for a liquor distribution center on Pier 12, where his company would unload beer and spirits bound for Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, bringing hundreds of new jobs to Red Hook.

But last month, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told him it would not extend his lease of Piers 6 through 12 beyond April, while it explored "alternative uses for the property.'' Though Representative Jerrold Nadler says he may have persuaded the Port Authority to grant a temporary reprieve, the longer-term fight to save Mr. Catucci's maritime operation is just one skirmish in a battle raging through Red Hook and neighboring Gowanus over the future of the hardscrabble area.

The small manufacturers, distributors and businesspeople who have helped revive that stretch of the Brooklyn waterfront in the last decade say the city and the Port Authority are writing off the area's maritime and industrial base in favor of a future filled with luxurious waterfront apartments featuring spectacular views of Manhattan and Governors Island. They say rents have risen sharply and speculators are holding industrial properties off the market in the belief that the city will rezone the area for residential development - a move they contend will make it all but impossible for many of these companies, and thousands of jobs, to survive.

The struggle mirrors what is happening in Long Island City, Queens, and Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where gentrification and a shift to residential zoning are under way, worrying manufacturers who provide blue-collar jobs.

"This is in many ways the most complex land-use battle in the city," Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said of Red Hook. "You've got competing uses, with tradeoffs between jobs, waterfront access, housing, retail jobs and industrial jobs. It requires a very textured approach."

He and other city officials say that a good number of Red Hook's buildings sit unused or underused, so the city and Port Authority are studying the area to determine how to make the transition from an industrial waterfront to an office-based economy. They will not say whether they envision luxury apartments, though they say they favor a mixed-use neighborhood where residential and commercial developments coexist.

But the small-business owners say coexistence is a pipe dream. A boom for luxury apartments will price them out of the neighborhood, they say, and the new developers and residents will have little tolerance for the gritty realities of a working waterfront.

"People who live in Red Hook depend on these jobs; they're willing to put up with the truck traffic and the congestion," said Igor Katsman, vice president for operations for Snapple Distribution, which rents warehouse space and employs 250 workers. "But when you start putting up $500,000 condominiums, those people don't want trucks on the streets."

In the meantime, Mr. Katsman said, he fears that the uncertainty over the area's future will put him out of business. "Nobody wants to give us a long-term lease because they're all speculating that the zoning will be changed to residential," he said.

Mr. Doctoroff said that the city and Port Authority expect to complete their latest study on the future of Piers 6 through 12 sometime this month. He also said that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans this spring to issue the city's long-awaited policy on preserving industrial space citywide.

But there is an increasing fear at Community Board 6, whose district includes Red Hook, that the Bloomberg administration has a different vision for the neighborhood. Last month, the city granted a variance to convert four floors of a six-story industrial building to 152 luxury apartments. The Red Hook-Gowanus Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit opposing the variance, saying it would touch off a conversion craze.

"It feels like Red Hook is being dismissed as the viable maritime and industrial community that it is," said Phaedra Thomas, the chamber's administrator. "They've determined that its future is as a luxury waterfront community."

Until the 1950's and 60's, much of shipping industry in New York Harbor docked in Red Hook and South Brooklyn, where longshoremen, warehouse workers and truckers lived in the neighborhood and walked to work. Most of the jobs disappeared as the Port Authority built a modern container port on the other side of the Hudson River in Newark and Elizabeth, N.J., a move that is still seen as a profound betrayal in Brooklyn.

But in the last 10 to 15 years, the Red Hook waterfront has come back to life as light manufacturers, artisans, distributors and woodworkers moved into abandoned industrial buildings and shipping resumed on some of the piers. According to a survey by the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, the number of businesses in Red Hook climbed to 457 in 1999, from 291 in 1991.

Mr. Catucci said he moved 110,000 shipping containers at the Red Hook container port last year, up from 18,211 in 1994. He established the biggest port for cacao beans in the world, although it has lost ground in recent years to Camden, N.J. and Philadelphia. He said he employed roughly 750 workers, including many from the nearby Red Hook Houses, where unemployment runs as high as 30 percent.

The Port Authority has complained that it spends millions of dollars a year subsidizing a barge that transports the containers from Brooklyn to New Jersey. But Mr. Catucci says he pays about $6 million of the $10 million cost of the barge and is developing plans for beverage and food distribution centers that would import goods bound for Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island, not New Jersey. He says that could eliminate the need for the barge in five years.

If the city decides that in the long run the piers could be better used for housing or recreation, he said, he will gradually move his business to the largely deserted South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. But he has lost business while the Port Authority kept him in limbo over his lease - and the city, he said, could lose hundreds of jobs, once again to New Jersey.

"I'm not going to stand in the way of progress, but I've got to know where I'm going," he said. "We lost 400 jobs at Domino Sugar last week. I don't want to lose these jobs, too. You'll never get them back."

A senior city official suggested that the loss of American Stevedoring could be offset by new jobs at a passenger ship terminal, an Ikea store and a Fairway supermarket all proposed for the area.

Robert Hughes, manager of the Erie Basin Bargeport, where 500 people work on barges and tugboats and at a beer distributor, said it was critical that the city retain Red Hook as its last working waterfront aside from Howland Hook in Staten Island. Tom Fox, president of New York Water Taxi, said the growth of ferries would continue only if there are places in the harbor to berth, repair and service boats.

"There's a mile or more of waterfront property that, depending on the whims of elected officials, might be taken out of maritime use," Mr. Hughes said.

A year ago, Carnival, the big cruise ship company, worked out a proposal with the local community board and Mr. Catucci to build a $100 million passenger terminal at Pier 7 for the Queen Mary 2 and other ships, because of overcrowding at the city's terminals on the west side of Manhattan. But the city rejected the plan. Yesterday, Kate Ascher, an economic development official, said the city would invest $250 million over the next 10 years in passenger terminals, including two berths in Red Hook, although she acknowledged that she did not know where the money would come from. In the meantime, the city offered Carnival a temporary berth at Pier 7.

Community leaders worry that if the city does not move more quickly on a permanent terminal, Carnival will follow Royal Caribbean, another cruise line, to Bayonne, N.J. "We expected the departure of Royal Caribbean would be a wake-up call for the city,'' said Giora Israel, a Carnival vice president. "But so far we haven't received a viable proposal."

Bruce Batkin, an owner of the building at 160 Imlay Street that was granted a residential variance, said he thought the city's study indicated that the waterfront was well suited for residential development, despite the lack of public transportation. Across a short stretch of water, he said, the city plans to create a resort and conference center on Governors Island.

"We think this should be a template for successful coexistence of commercial and residential," he said.

Jeffrey Levi, chief executive of John's Gourmet, a high-end food manufacturer that employs 70 people a block away from Imlay Street, is not convinced. The people moving into expensive apartments, he said, will have concerns about truck traffic, noise, smells and Dumpsters. He pointed out how the Gillies Coffee Company in Sunset Park, another Brooklyn industrial neighborhood undergoing gentrification, was fined by the city last year after a resident complained about the smell of coffee.

With the area's future so uncertain, Mr. Levi said he is considering moving to New Jersey.

"For me to expand, it means I would have to invest another quarter of a million dollars," he said. "I'm not sure it makes sense if I'm going to have baby strollers rolling down the block."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

February 4th, 2004, 12:27 AM
The Port of Bayonne isn't closing, they're transfereing the small piece of land that they own of Port Jersey to Jersey City which owns 95% of the port and bayonne only 5%. Also I think that if that harbor feight tunnel dream comes to fruition, it will benefit Jersey City's port and industrial yards and help revilitze Brooklyn's on the other end.

TLOZ Link5
February 4th, 2004, 12:54 AM
That'll happen maybe in the next 50 years...

February 4th, 2004, 04:14 PM
:D I know right lol

February 23rd, 2004, 09:15 PM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

In a storm


Sunday, February 22nd, 2004

The battle to make New York the biggest and richest seaport on North America's East Coast - and to create thousands of port-dependent jobs - hinges on the future of the fabled Brooklyn waterfront.

But the city's surprise decision to explore converting the Brooklyn docks, the sole deepwater port east of the Hudson River, into a complex of big-box stores or luxury housing leaves that future in limbo.

Experts predict that 10 years from now, with the shipping industry adopting an airline-style hub-and-feeder system, there will be only one major East Coast seaport between Canada and Mexico.

If the Port of New York-New Jersey, now the third-busiest port in the nation, loses that competition to Norfolk, Va., or Halifax, Nova Scotia, the New York region could lose 40% of its 230,000 port-dependent jobs, according to a 1995 Port Authority study.

But if New York were to win the race, it would multiply maritime commerce and jobs by as much as eight times during the next 40 years, the same study said.

Port Authority studies show the New York-New Jersey ports are operating at 90% of capacity and that demand for cargo space will triple in the next 15 years.

In 1999, the city's Economic Development Corp. urged a $1.5 billion investment in the city's ports over 20 years, saying it would create 30,000 jobs and reap $300 million a year in tax revenues.

The next year, the economic agency spent $12 million for new cranes on Red Hook docks, bringing the terminal's shipping volume to an all-time high of 80,000 containers. But last summer, port officials seemed to shift in midstream.

The Economic Development Corp. and Port Authority hired the consulting firm Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler to study converting the Brooklyn piers to nonmaritime use.

Then, last month, the Port Authority warned the operator of the Red Hook piers that it may not renew his lease when it expires in April. And after two years of negotiations, the Economic Development Corp. suddenly rejected a proposal by the world's largest cruise operator, Carnival Cruise Lines, to develop a $95 million terminal in Brooklyn.

City officials said American Stevedoring's lease on the Red Hook piers was in question because it cost four times as much to run it as the ports in New Jersey. They have yet to explain publicly their rejection of Carnival's proposal.

American Stevedoring and its affiliate companies employ about 700 people, most of them from Brooklyn, according to CEO Sabato (Sal) Catucci, who developed the site into the country's largest cocoa port.

"Brooklyn just lost 400 jobs at Domino Sugar," Catucci said. "What are they thinking? Once these jobs are gone, they're gone forever."

Meanwhile, ground has yet to be broken for a 350-acre port planned for Sunset Park, touted in 1999 as the centerpiece of the city's port revitalization plan.

Port officials declined to discuss what they envision for the Brooklyn waterfront, saying they first want to see the consulting firm's findings for nonmaritime use.

Minutes of community meetings suggest there is widespread opposition to big-box retailers and other alternative uses, including luxury housing.

"Big-box retail in our port is inappropriate and will not be accepted by many well-organized members of our community," said David Lutz, executive director of the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition.

The wrangle over the Brooklyn piers is couched in allegations that the Port Authority has lavished millions on the shallow New Jersey ports of Newark and Bayonne while starving Brooklyn's deepwater facilities.

Over the past eight years, the authority has spent $500 million to blast the narrow, treacherous Kill Van Kull to 40 feet to get ships into ports of Elizabeth, Newark and Howland Hook. It has plans to spend $1.5 billion more to blast the passageway to 50 feet to accommodate the new generation of deep-draft super container ships.

By contrast, waters off Red Hook are 65 feet deep and you don't hit bottom at Sunset Park for 150 feet.

Complicating port development is the difficulty of carrying goods between facilities in Brooklyn and New Jersey.

Now, in the interests of national security, officials feel the time is right for a plan proposed more than 80 years ago: a $7 billion rail freight tunnel under the harbor.

"More than 90% of everything that comes into New York City comes over the George Washington and Verrazano bridges," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan). "If terrorists take out the bridges, it would be a disaster to the economy. The redundancy a tunnel would provide is absolutely essential."

Mayor Bloomberg and New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton have joined in championing the project, as have 25 members of New York's congressional delegation.

If the tunnel is approved, Nadler reasons, the Port Authority will have to loosen its purse strings in Brooklyn.

February 24th, 2004, 12:42 AM
Looks like it's cheaper to keep blasting the Kill Van Kull than to build the freight rail tunnel that's the key to a viable Brooklyn super-port. 1.5 billion vs. 7 billion. New jersey has always been the more practical location for these modern container ports, has it not? Right there at the terminus of the continental railroads, with all kinds of superhighways swooping around, airplanes overhead flying to Newark.

February 24th, 2004, 01:09 AM
The tunnel would be for things being trucked from the "mainland" that go to NYC and LI, so the trucks won't clock the bridges, tunnels, and streets. Also, it would be an alternate in case of a disaster.

The Brooklyn port could be developed alone, as it somewhat has, and the ship and containers would come to Brooklyn NOT NJ.

That's the point of this article. The tunnel and the shitheads at the PA screwing NYC in every which way are apples and oranges here.

TLOZ Link5
February 24th, 2004, 02:20 AM
Do mine eyes deceive me, or did that article say that the city rejected Carnival's proposal to build a new cruise terminal?

February 24th, 2004, 01:36 PM
You will never eliminate Newark/Elizabeth as the largest port on the eastern seaboard. So what if its in New Jersey, the goods all go to NYC anyway and the rest of NJ.

January 15th, 2005, 11:48 PM
Bruce Batkin, an owner of the building at 160 Imlay Street that was granted a residential variance, said he thought the city's study indicated that the waterfront was well suited for residential development, despite the lack of public transportation. Across a short stretch of water, he said, the city plans to create a resort and conference center on Governors Island.



The project halted by the judge, 160 Imlay Street, is a virtual paragon of good planning principles. It is taking a massive, unused warehouse and converting it to an architecturally handsome residential building. It destroys nothing, displaces no one, and rehabilitates a historic building. It does all this without government subsidies or tax abatements. Much of the surrounding property looks derelict, even though the Chamber of Commerce insists that it is all part of Brooklyn’s "last working waterfront" and therefore must be preserved as maritime, however unproductive.

But this particular building hasn’t had a maritime use within the memory of any witness. Its previous owners, the Goldstein Brothers who bought it from the DeLorenzo real estate empire, had used it for book storage since 1960. John McGettrick, head of the Red Hook Civic Alliance, recalls the book storage as an inefficient operation that used only half the building. "It was a pick-and-pack operation, mainly for stuff that was sold to museum stores," says McGettrick. In the late 1970s he had encouraged the Goldsteins to consider other uses. "They brought me up to the sixth floor and showed me that the upper floors were unusable," he recalls. "The leaks had done a lot of damage." The Goldsteins employed some 60-70 workers, and perhaps as many as 120 at high season, says McGettrick.

In 2000, the building was bought by Industry City Associates, the New York area's largest owner of industrial space—including the successful Bush Terminal just down the waterfront from Red Hook. Their original intention was to lease it to WorldCom, which shortly declared bankruptcy. "The building would have worked for a telecommunications use," says ICA spokesman Bob Liff, "But then the whole telecommunications market collapsed."

When the telecommunications market died, Industry City tried unsuccessfully to lease the 100-year-old warehouse, before forming a partnership with residential developers Bruce Batkin, based in New York, and Stuart Lubin and Ruben Moreno, based in Boston. Batkin says, "We determined that the configuration, waterfront location, and views made it suitable for residential. It's not really suitable for much else, particularly the upper floors. The building has a long, narrow floor plate and virtually no loading docks. The surrounding streets are narrow, with no turnaround area for large trucks. Other than the first floor, the building doesn't work for industrial use. My partners at Industry City know the industrial market better than anyone in the city, and if there were industrial demand for this building they would know."

In granting the variance the BSA imposed a couple of conditions that makes the development a little harder financially. It turned down architect Cetra/Ruddy's proposal for a three-story glass penthouse that would have commanded extraordinary views. And it mandated that the first two floors be commercial—a requirement that will probably fit well with the proposed cruise terminal. All of this is moot at the moment. The building is now standing completely open to the elements, as the developers wait.


160 Imlay Street Building


January 16th, 2005, 08:51 AM


January 16th, 2005, 02:23 PM
Shame. 160 Imlay's penthouse addition was very nice.