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May 19th, 2003, 04:54 PM
May 19, 2003

Bermuda Shorts Among Stevedores?


The Carnival Legend steamed out of New York on Tuesday with 2,300 passengers bound for the Caribbean. On Saturday, the Norwegian Dawn docked at the West Side piers, the first cruise ship in at least 20 years to be based in New York year round.

Cruise ships have become so popular that Carnival, the largest operator in the world, says that the industry has outgrown the once somnolent West Side piers, and is proposing to build a new $100 million passenger terminal with the city to handle new business on, of all places, the hard-bitten Brooklyn waterfront.

The Carnival proposal comes amid tension between the remaining maritime industries in South Brooklyn and proposals to develop waterfront parks and residential projects. Meanwhile, a study by the city on the future of South Brooklyn maritime industries is under way, and the city's position on whether the proposal goes forward is by no means clear.

The terminal would sit at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, where burlap bags of cocoa beans are now stacked to the ceiling of a blue shed that runs down Pier 7. Pacing the 1,300-foot length of the pier on a recent morning was Giora Israel, Carnival's vice president for strategic planning. He said that unlike the city's West Side piers, Pier 7 could easily accommodate the company's 1,150-foot Queen Mary II, the first trans-Atlantic passenger ship under construction in 35 years, which is to sail next year.

"As an industry, we want to really increase the number of passengers we carry out of New York," Mr. Israel said. "We're getting a new ship every 47 days. But we need to add capacity."

City officials said they were considering the proposal, but stopped short of embracing it.

"It's exciting to see the growth of New York tourism," Joshua J. Sirefman, chief operating officer of the city's Economic Development Corporation, said of Carnival's proposal. "But we have to assess it in the context of how to ensure the industry has a capacity for growth, the transformation of Brooklyn Bridge Park and the long-term future of the Brooklyn waterfront."

Even before the attacks of Sept. 11 prompted many people to avoid jet travel, vacationers were flocking to cruise ships, once the province of retirees and faded celebrities. In the last five years, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, the number of passengers embarking from North American ports has climbed 47 percent to about 8 million, while the number leaving from New York alone has risen 157 percent to an estimated 448,000.

"Your grandmother's cruise line is no more," said Jeffrey Kivet, chairman of Cruise Value Centers in East Brunswick, N.J., a large travel agency. "You eat when you want, with whom you want. You don't have to dress in a tuxedo. There are spas, restaurants, shows, casinos and things for the kids to do."

Rather than waiting for travelers to fly to Miami or San Juan to get on a ship, ships now sail out of Baltimore; Philadelphia; Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; New Orleans; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Los Angeles; and San Francisco.

"The cruise business post-9/11 is a business of drive-to ports," said John Tercek, vice president for commercial development of Royal Caribbean Cruises.

It is anyone's guess whether the cruise ship business will continue to expand so quickly. The cruise lines have had to offer sometimes steep discounts to keep their berths full during the recession and the war in Iraq. But they have fared better than other elements of the tourism industry.

"The cruise industry has held up relatively well when compared with the travel industry as a whole," said Glen Reid, an analyst with Bear Stearns. "To the extent there's port capacity, I think you'll see more and more ships leaving New York, Baltimore, Jacksonville and New Orleans."

Given the size of its metropolitan market, the cruise lines all want to expand in New York.

"The West Side terminals are jammed and outmoded," Mr. Tercek said. "We have a similar need as Carnival, though it's not as pressing. But we'd love to grow in New York, and we are cramped."

It is a sharp turnabout for the West Side piers, between 46th and 50th Streets, which underwent a $40 million renovation in the 1970's as part of a deal between the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to build the World Trade Center. But many economists saw the project as a white elephant, because cruise ships were rapidly becoming relics of the past.

Gone were the days when crowds would line the docks as the Queen Mary, Lusitania and the Mauretania slid into the Chelsea Piers, or soldiers mounted the gangplanks of warships bound for battle in Europe. The ships later moved north to the West Side docks, nicknamed Luxury Liner Row. But the industry nearly sank after daily plane service to Europe began in 1958.

The number of passengers traveling from New York piers fell to fewer than 200,000 from the 1970's through the early 1990's.

But with business suddenly booming four years ago, the cruise lines explored ways to renovate and expand on the West Side. Executives said the piers were outmoded and ill-equipped. At times the terminal area is gridlocked, with five ships in the harbor, 7,500 passengers trying to disembark, even as 7,500 others are trying to get on board.

The industry concluded it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to renovate the terminal, and they wanted much of it to come from public coffers. Still, Mr. Israel of Carnival said, there is little room to expand, which led the company to look in Brooklyn.

Carnival is proposing to knock down the storage shed on Pier 7 and build two terminals, a conference center and a 1,000-car garage, which, Mr. Israel said, would not rise higher than the current structure and block the views of nearby residents. One person involved in the talks between Carnival and the city said the company has signaled that it would be willing to pay about three-quarters of the $100 million cost, providing it could get tax-free financing.

Mr. Israel said the cruise ship industry spends an estimated $800 million a year on provisions and services in New York.

The Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz, has applauded the proposal. "I have no doubt it'll be successful," he said. "It represents jobs. We're reclaiming the waterfront, and it'll promote tourism."

But Brooklyn's piers are in the midst of change. The Port Authority is giving Piers 1 through 5 to the city for the creation of a waterfront park. Sal Catucci, chief executive of American Stevedoring, operates Piers 6 through 12 under a lease with the Port Authority. Mr. Catucci, who employs 1,000 workers, has built up a thriving business, handling cocoa, lumber and containers headed for Brooklyn, Manhattan and Long Island.

Mr. Catucci said he could move the cocoa operation, the largest in the country, to another pier to make room for the passenger terminal.

"It would be great for the area to have passenger ships," he said. "It'd bring a lot to the neighborhood."

Mr. Catucci is more worried about the fact that the Port Authority has refused to extend his lease beyond 2004, while the city engages in a study about maritime uses on the Brooklyn waterfront. Bette Stoltz, executive director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation, which works with waterfront businesses, is also concerned about what happens next.

"How can you give away the last piece of the port we've got?" she asked. "We generally think maritime use of the waterfront is good. We also think Carnival's proposal makes sense in that it's consistent with the kind of tourism development that the Brooklyn Bridge Park will bring."

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

May 20th, 2003, 09:54 AM
This is great for the city, as long as the importers, etc can be moved. *No need to kill thriving businesses. *The pic in the paper was pretty nice, too. *It's a great thing for NYC. *It's more convenient for the metro, than flying to FLA, and it brings money, toursits, etc. to the city. *I hope it goes through.

May 21st, 2003, 08:02 AM
I agree. This area should stay maritime. I'd hate to see this turn into a real estate development just because of its great harbor views.

May 22nd, 2003, 01:15 PM
I think it is great and the rendering was very nice. *They can have a stop on the downtown to JFK airtrain stop here as well.

May 25th, 2003, 07:14 PM
Carnival, the largest cruise operator in the world, is proposing to build a new $100 million passenger terminal on the Brooklyn waterfront. The terminal would sit at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, where burlap bags of cocoa beans are now stacked to the ceiling of a blue shed that runs down Pier 7.


Atlantic Basin and Brooklyn skyline.

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

Atlantic Basin and Manhattan skyline.


Norwegian Dawn leaving the port of New York on the way to week-long Bahamas cruise.


March 3rd, 2004, 08:14 AM


March 3, 2004 -- The city is now considering converting two Brooklyn piers, instead of just one, for use by luxury cruise ships, officials said yesterday.

Carnival Cruise Lines had been seeking to dock its ships at Pier 7 - at the foot of Atlantic Avenue - since 1999.

But officials disclosed they are studying the possibility of creating a new cruise ship terminal using both Piers 7 and 8.

They're also considering an alternative site about a half-mile south using Piers 10 and 12.

Because of growth in the cruise-ship industry - as well as the increased size of the liners - new space is needed.

Brooklyn has berths big enough to handle massive vessels like the Queen Mary 2.

If docked in Manhattan, the world's largest ship would jut 300 feet into the Hudson.

Meanwhile, the city proposed hikes in docking fees in exchange for upgraded facilities.

The city's $250 million plan to attract cruise ships to piers in Manhattan and Brooklyn - and keep them from carrying out threats to bolt for Bayonne - would be funded by the higher fees.

The city would maintain ownership of the piers and pay for upgrades to the current Manhattan terminal as well as construction of the proposed terminal in Brooklyn.

The city hopes to decide on the new site in Brooklyn next month. The Brooklyn piers are now used for shipping and storage by the American Stevedoring company.

Copyright 2003 NYP Holdings, Inc.

TLOZ Link5
March 3rd, 2004, 12:40 PM
I assume that there will be an opportunity to renovate the Passenger Ship Terminal in Manhattan?

March 3rd, 2004, 03:56 PM
Really good news, with the Brooklyn Bridge Park just one pier over and a 300 room hotel on Pier 1 (part of the Park proposal) the area could really be a nice tourist destination. Who'd have thunk it? Brooklyn, a tourist destination!

March 3rd, 2004, 04:33 PM
Good, I thought the docks were failed proposals. I hope American Stevedoring is fine with moving a pier down.

March 4th, 2004, 10:44 AM
This project is clearly good for New York, and I hope to see it move forward. However, I want to echo the sentiments above that the existing cocoa importing business can be saved.

Clearly this is not a huge operation by port standards, so space should not be a problem.

May 19, 2003

Bermuda Shorts Among Stevedores?
Mr. Catucci said he could move the cocoa operation, the largest in the country, to another pier to make room for the passenger terminal.

But there’s a reason that this business has concentrated on a single pier… this type of agglomeration doesn’t tend to happen by mistake.


The ability to have specialized handling at a relatively quiet pier apart from other commodities seems to appeal to the chocolate importers. The storage facility on the pier also seems to provide some type of temperature/humidity control that preserves the quality of the product. Whatever the reason, I hope the city and Port Authority continue to foster this unique specialty that has evolved along Brooklyn’s waterfront, and doesn’t simply shove it off to the side because it’s in the way of the new cruise ship terminal.

May 2nd, 2004, 05:40 AM
May 2, 2004


On the Waterfront, Wariness Over a Cruise-Ship Plan


A Saudi cargo ship was unloaded on Pier 11 last week but the future of shipping there is uncertain.

When the Queen Mary 2 glided past Brooklyn the other day, residents of Red Hook scrambled up to on their rooftops to watch it pass.

The neighborhood, like the rest of the city, was buzzing, but not just over the ship. Days before, the city's Economic Development Corporation had announced plans to create a cruise-ship berth in Brooklyn for similar vessels as early as the summer of 2005, with Red Hook's Pier 12 emerging as a favorite possible location. But in a place where residents list unemployment among their main worries, there is concern over the impact that plan could have on one of the waterfront's largest tenants.

American Stevedoring, a shipping business that employs 600 people on Piers 8 through 11, saw its lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey expire two days ago. Negotiations on a new lease continue, but Steven Coleman, a Port Authority spokesman, said a long-term commitment was unlikely as the authority studied other possible uses for the piers, including more cruise ships and retail use. Mr. Coleman said the authority favored a two-year lease for American Stevedoring, to keep its options open.

"Obviously, if we were to sign a long-term, multiyear lease," he said, "that would preclude us from doing anything on those piers for a long period of time. Even if there are much better uses for those piers than a cargo-ship terminal."

Sal Catucci, American Stevedoring's chief executive, said he did not plan on going anywhere. "The only way this place will ever, ever close is if I'm dead and they bury me here," he said. "I'm 66 years old, and I expect to live another 25 years. So take it from there."

Mr. Catucci, who has operated on the piers since 1994, said he would not mind having cruise ships for a neighbor, but he contends that the city has too much to lose by letting his company go.

"They don't create that many jobs at all," he said. "It's only 25 days a year that ships come in. They're not going to create the jobs that we're creating."

New York City's unemployment rate is around 8 percent, but activists say the number in Red Hook is higher, especially in the Red Hook Houses, a few blocks from Pier 12. That is why Ray Hall, who runs a youth program called Red Hook Rise, supports American Stevedoring's presence on the piers. "I see these youth, and I deal with them every day, and this is the most I've ever seen kids, and grown people, want to work," he said. "People are dying for work, and there's just no jobs for them."

Mr. Coleman of the Port Authority emphasized that everyone had the area's best interests in mind. "Our primary objective," he said, "is to find the best uses for that site that are going to provide the best jobs and economic activity for the Brooklyn area."

In the meantime, American Stevedoring will continue to operate on the piers, though without a lease. Mr. Catucci is confident that things will work out. "Everybody always says I see the glass not half-full," he said, "but full."

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

November 7th, 2004, 11:48 PM
City: Cruise ships at Pier 12 by summer

By Jess Wisloski
The Brooklyn Papers

Brooklynites can expect to see a cruise ship terminal completed as early as next summer, city officials announced Tuesday before a joint City Council committee hearing.

And if the cruise ship terminal, to be built at Pier 12, is successful, Piers 10 and 11 could be cleared of existing maritime businesses by as early as 2007.

The American Stevedoring cargo company currently uses those piers and is awaiting Port Authority of New York and New Jersey approval for a lease extension that would consolidate their operations onto Piers 8-10 for the next three years. But the city’s Economic Development Corporation, the agency charged with implementing the $150 million cruise ship venture, hopes down the line to “morph” Piers 10 and 11, into use exclusively for cruise ships.

The outcome, EDC Vice President Kate Ascher told the council members, will depend on the success of the cruise industry at Red Hook’s Pier 12.

The meeting was dominated by Brooklyn council members, including David Yassky, Diana Reyna, Letitia James, Erik Martin Dilan, Vincent Gentile, Sara Gonzalez, and Yvette Clarke. It was hosted by the Waterfronts and Economic Development committees.

“I think it is plain, Mr. Chair, that Brooklyn’s in the house,” Yassky said dryly to Councilman James Sanders Jr., chairman of the Economic Development committee, as he introduced each member coming in.

Yassky, who chairs the Waterfronts committee, did much of the questioning, probing EDC officials about forecasts for the development, and other members took turns asking just what Red Hook could expect to see of boat traffic, jobs and traffic remediation in the months and years ahead.

Ascher used a slide presentation and indicated that in June the Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines had signed “patronage commitments,” or letters of agreement, to use New York City exclusively for their area ports, to pay raised tariff fees through 2017 that would supply $200 million and would be increased each year following completion of the developments, and commit to broadening their tourist base by helping promote the city to customers, which Carnival CEO Howard Frank said includes “adding extra overnight stays in New York.”

In return, the city will supply $150 million over 10 years for renovations of the berths already in use on the West Side of Manhattan (which are currently underway using another $51 million in city funds), and to develop a terminal and berth for use by ships of all sizes in Brooklyn, that could also help absorb the overflow during Manhattan’s improvements.

Ascher discussed renderings of a master plan at the hearing, which depicted a bright, open terminal built in an already existing warehouse, and showed people in lines similar to those at an airport.

Ascher said the schematic design was being reviewed by EDC’s oversight committee.

As many as 600 new jobs, said Ascher, are anticipated as a result of the Brooklyn development by as early as next summer, at which point the terminal would be “fully operational.” But just when there will be a cruise tenant to supply the jobs was still up in the air.

Testifying after Ascher, Carnival CEO Howard Frank said he did not anticipate opening for business on the Brooklyn berth until spring 2006, nearly a year later than the city’s estimate.

“We’ve committed to our schedules for 2005 already,” he said, when asked by Yassky when the jobs would become available.

Kenneth Adams, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, clarified that the lines themselves wouldn’t do most of the hiring, but most jobs would be “shore-side” positions, and include “all those categories of jobs that are local because they serve the ship,” including “taxis, limousines, terminal operations, the provisioning of ships, logistics, communications professional services and much more.”

Adams said the figure of 600 projected jobs was obtained using the Queen Mary II cruise liner, the largest in the world, as a model for the size of ship that would be docking at Pier 12, and suggested EDC may hire subcontractors that could work with area businesses and his agency to ensure local hiring.

And while EDC officials said they would be taking operational control of those piers, that, too, seems to be in dispute.

The Port Authority, which occupies some of the piers from the city in leases that run roughly through 2026 — and owns others has yet to issue a lease or sublease to the EDC. While Ascher said they anticipated a lease would be signed within “the next few weeks,” no date has been set.

Yassky suggested the EDC work on wresting pier control from the Port Authority.

“They’re city owned, am I right?” Yassky asked.

Ascher said it was a “patchwork” of ownership and noted that discussions had begun to consider breaking the authority’s lease on the uplands of Pier 11, parts of Pier 10 and the upland between piers 9 and 10. “It’s exactly what we should be doing,” she said, but added as much as they want to “take the Port Authority off the hook for its lease obligations,” and secure Port Authority-owned land, it would take time.

Additionally, American Stevedoring has been operating without a lease since April, and company officials are also waiting for a commitment from the Port Authority to find out how much longer they will be able to stay.

The problem didn’t evade Yassky’s notice.

“Since both 11 and 10 are now part of the container terminal lease should we see this as a gradual supplanting of the container terminal by the cruise ship terminal, or is there room for both?” he asked Ascher.

“The understanding is that the pier will morph into a cruise terminal starting in 2007,” she replied.

“Whether we build that year or not depends on demand, and the containers will move somewhere else,” Ascher said. “Our intention is to build out three berths for cruise, which is what the 20-year master plan says we need, and intend to accommodate.”

American Stevedoring spokesman Matthew Yates told The Brooklyn Papers that his company, which has a new president, former city Department of Environmental protection Commissioner Christopher Ward, taking the helm on Monday, isn’t too concerned.

“I don’t believe it’s a threat,” that ships would replace the longstanding stevedoring company, Yates said. “We’ll see what happens, but it’s a long way off,” he said, referring to the 20-year plan. He also emphasized there would be room for both businesses on the piers, a point that Yassky had made at the hearing.

“I don’t think we should be saying goodbye to 300 or more well-paying jobs at the container terminal,” Yassky said.

Craig Hammerman, district manager of Community Board 6, also spoke of sharing, and asked that development of Pier 11’s new roadway be designated a truck route to lighten the burden on Van Brunt Street, which is currently used for local traffic, bus routes, truck routes, and will become a thoroughfare for the Red Hook Ikea.

Red Hook Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez, who arrived half an hour late to the hearings, said she would become more involved on behalf of her community, which will be the most seriously affected by the pier changes.

“We understand it will be a wonderful thing that will someday be a great economic boost to the city, but right now we have to make sure the community people are represented,” she said. “I think the dialogue will just continue, as it did with Ikea.”


January 13th, 2005, 07:26 AM
January 13, 2005

City to Begin Building Luxury Ship Passenger Terminal in Brooklyn


The city will begin building a $30 million passenger terminal for luxury ships in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in February, officials said yesterday.

The terminal is part of a $200 million effort by the Bloomberg administration to make the city friendlier to the booming luxury cruise industry. The terminal, planned for Piers 11 and 12, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Community leaders in Red Hook have generally been receptive to the idea of a passenger ship terminal there. But the announcement was quickly followed by renewed concern that the terminal would result in the end of American Stevedoring, a shipping company that has been operating in Red Hook for the past decade and says it employs 600 people.

The concern came after Kate Ascher, an executive vice president of the city's Economic Development Corporation, indicated during a City Council waterfront committee hearing yesterday that the city hoped eventually to open other Red Hook piers to the cruise industry, including those used by American Stevedoring, whose lease expires in 2007.

David Yassky, the Brooklyn councilman who is the waterfront committee chairman, said he took Ms. Ascher to mean "the city intends to shut down the Red Hook container terminal in 2007." A spokesman for Ms. Ascher, Michael Sherman, said that there was no plan to take over piers used by American Stevedoring and that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, not the city, held the company's lease anyway.

Still, he added that the city was open to building other terminals on other piers eventually. And Daniel L. Doctoroff, the deputy mayor for economic development and rebuilding, said in an interview that the city was certainly aiming to greatly expand the number of cruise ships that leave from here.

"It's a growing segment of the tourism industry," he said.

In a joint released yesterday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki announced a five-year lease deal for the piers - controlled by the state - where the city plans to build the terminal. The city said it would pay the Port Authority roughly $560,000 a year for the space. It has an option to renew the lease for 10 more years. The city said the terminal would create at least 600 new jobs.

Officials said that the Brooklyn terminal would be used by the Norwegian Cruise Line and the Carnival Corporation, but that they were hoping others would use it as well.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

January 13th, 2005, 09:05 AM
Scan from the NY Post...


January 13th, 2005, 12:14 PM

January 13th, 2005, 12:22 PM
Is that the actual plan?


January 13th, 2005, 12:43 PM
Whether you like the architecture of not, this will be a huge asset for the city and Red Hook. So pleased that this looks like it's moving. Surprised to see it scheduled for end of this year to be completed, but, if it's anywhere close, that's great. It's a shame it took something moving to NJ (as usual) for NYC to wake up.

January 13th, 2005, 12:57 PM
I know, I'm just being picky.

You can look at the move to Bayonne as a benefit from competition. If it didn't happen, the city may not have gotten off its ass until it was too late.

January 13th, 2005, 02:35 PM
It's not the best architecture, that's for sure, but it's better than a lot of other cruise terminals, like ones in Ft. Lauderdale and some still in Miami.

alex ballard
January 13th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Cruise ship terminals have never really been spectacular. Why? I don't know. The most important thing here is A) Jobs B) tourism. Both will happen with this. The one thing that irks me is that admist all this waterfront redevelopment talk, no one is talking about bringing back the Port and manufactring functions to the city. The waterfront by Sunset Park shoud be a huge marine and manufactruing terminal. Same goes for parts of north shore Staten Island. What exactly is gonna go into this terminal anyway? Don't you just go up to the cruise ship and come out? Not exactly a destination spot plan.

January 13th, 2005, 04:48 PM
Oddly airports are often excellent examples of architecture (JFK, Detroit's new terminal is beautiful).

I think most of what's going up in NYC is very mediocre in general (with a few noted exceptions like the Hearst tower).

Does anyone want to try to manufacture anything in NYC? Have we (USA & NYC in particular) given up on manufacturing industry?

January 13th, 2005, 05:57 PM
Cruise ship terminals have never really been spectacular. Why? I don't know. The most important thing here is A) Jobs B) tourism. Both will happen with this. The one thing that irks me is that admist all this waterfront redevelopment talk, no one is talking about bringing back the Port and manufactring functions to the city. The waterfront by Sunset Park shoud be a huge marine and manufactruing terminal. Same goes for parts of north shore Staten Island. What exactly is gonna go into this terminal anyway? Don't you just go up to the cruise ship and come out? Not exactly a destination spot plan.

Sunset Park is being developed and so is SI. Howland Hook in undergoing a major boom and expansion. They even are bringing back the freight rail to the SI port. The harbor of NY and NJ is booming and they are trying deperately to catch up so they are not passed. Unfortunately, the city and state move at a snail's pace, but it will come.

January 13th, 2005, 06:31 PM
Cruise ship terminals have never really been spectacular.

One possible exception:

CHELSEA PIERS (Warren and Wetmore ca. 1912)

alex ballard
January 13th, 2005, 07:29 PM
Cruise ship terminals have never really been spectacular.

One possible exception:
CHELSEA PIERS (Warren and Wetmore ca. 1912)

They're is always exceptions to the rule. Anyhow, Is that where the Titanic was supposed to come in?

Actually, something rustic like that would really add a huge touch of charm to this development. Anyone up for some photoshop :) ?

January 13th, 2005, 08:30 PM
Yes. Edward has Pier 54 info on the Wired New York Website (http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier54/default.htm)

The steel framework for the pierhead will be part of Hudson River Park design. The Carpathia brought Titanic survivors to the Chelsea Piers.

January 13th, 2005, 08:41 PM
. Anyhow, Is that where the Titanic was supposed to come in?

It is. Titanic would have docked at one of the White Star Lines piers within the Chelsea Pier Complex, Pier 60, just south of 23rd Street, if my memory's correct. As it turned out, her survivors were brought into the port by Cunard Lines' Carpathia, which steamed upriver past the Cunard piers at the other end of the Pier Complex and lowered Titanic's lifeboats into the berth where she would docked and then sailed back down to and docked at White Star's Pier 54 (at 13th Street), where a crowd of 50,000 was waiting, and discharged the survivors. Pier 54's steel entrance arch is still there, and the lettering "Cunard White Star" is still indistinctly visible on it (Cunard and White Star merged in 1934). Pier 54 was the site of Lusitania's maiden arrival in 1907, while the Chelsea Piers were still under construction, and her last departure in 1915. More recently, Pier 54, shorn of its superstructure, was, for many years, the site of the annual Wigfest.

January 15th, 2005, 11:52 PM
The Red Hook Passenger Ship Terminal, planned for Pier 12, is expected to open by the end of the year.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/red_hook_pier12.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/)

Pier 11 and 160 Imlay Street.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/160imlay_pier11_red_hook.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/)

January 24th, 2005, 04:52 PM



Luxury liners aren't the only wave of the future for Brooklyn's planned cruise-ship terminal.

Planners are also studying the possibility of turning the Atlantic Basin in Red Hook � which abuts the future port of call for the Queen Mary 2 � into a marina, and the $30 million passenger-ship terminal into an exhibition space, The Post has learned.

"As we design the terminal, we hope to keep it flexible so we can roll away the [ticket] counters for an alternative use," Kate Ascher, executive vice president of the city's Economic Development Corp., said at a recent community meeting. "We're hoping to identify trade-show opportunities that could work there."

Ascher said the exhibition space and marina would generate funds in the off-season. Other revenue boosters could also include a ferry service to the basin, she said.

The city announced a long-term lease agreement with the cruise lines earlier this month, as part of a $200 million expansion of cruise facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The deal will help maintain New York's primacy as the cruise industry's main port of call for at least 13 years, by keeping the Carnival and Norwegian ship lines from dropping anchor in Bayonne, N.J.

Bayonne nabbed Royal Caribbean Cruises from the city last year � forcing New York to scramble for additional facilities to accommodate the rapidly growing industry.

But officials played down the regional rivalry for ocean-bound tourists.

"Bayonne and Brooklyn share many of the same waterfront characteristics," said Nancy Kist, executive director of the Bayonne Local Redevelopment Authority. "We believe there are sufficient growth opportunities in the cruise industry to allow both projects to co-exist and thrive."

March 20th, 2005, 01:22 PM
I haven't been around there for quite a while now... is the facility actually u/c?

May 2nd, 2005, 03:53 PM
Posted by MagnumPI in another thread...

A Brooklyn Accent for 2 Queens as Cruise Ships Quit Manhattan

Published: April 16, 2005

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/t.gifhe Queen Mary 2, the Queen Elizabeth 2 and other elegant world-class passenger and cruise ships will abandon glamorous Manhattan and make Brooklyn their home port next year when the city finishes rebuilding a pier in Red Hook where longshoremen once ruled the docks and mean streets.
Exercising an option offered by the city last year, Carnival Corporation, which owns the fleets of the Cunard and Princess Lines, will move the berths of four of its most luxurious ships from the frayed and crowded West Side Passenger Ship Terminal to a huge pier being redeveloped in Atlantic Basin, opposite Governors Island, city and company officials said yesterday.

The shift is expected to advance the city into a new era of passenger ship glory: bringing 250,000 voyagers to town beyond this year's 900,000; adding dozens of dockings to the schedule; creating thousands of jobs and an array of retail, restaurant, hotel and other traveler-related businesses in Red Hook; and speeding the revival of a once grim industrial-warehouse district.

For passengers bound for trans-Atlantic crossings and world and Caribbean cruises, the shift will mean new perspectives getting to and from their ships: tunnel and bridge crossings, ventures into the terra incognita of Brooklyn, and embarkation into Buttermilk Channel instead of the storied Hudson.

But the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Gowanus and Brooklyn-Queens Expressways thread into the neighborhood, and the reward for passengers, city and Carnival officials said, will be in the sprawling terminal - a modern 180,000-square-foot building capable of accommodating 4,000 passengers with a constellation of traveler amenities and some of the world's biggest ships.

In the 2006 cruise season starting next April, the four ships - Cunard's Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 and Princess Line's Crown Princess and Star Princess - will call about 44 times at Pier 12, a former cargo dock rapidly undergoing transformation, with a rebuilt steel shed, new bollards and fenders, an internal roadway, a 500-car parking area, taxi and bus drop-off areas, and even landscaping.

"Red Hook is rich in maritime history," said Kate Ascher, the city Economic Development Corporation's executive vice president for infrastructure. "Now it's coming home. Numerous Brooklyn residents will have the opportunity to work at this terminal, and thousands of travelers will get to experience not only a first-class terminal but also the wonderful neighborhood, restaurants and entertainment possibilities."

The pier will be big enough to accommodate the 1,132-foot Queen Mary 2, which carries 2,620 passengers, as well as the 963-foot Queen Elizabeth 2 (1,790 passengers), the Crown Princess (3,100 passengers) and Star Princess (2,600 passengers), the last two three football fields in length, said Julie Benson, a spokeswoman for the Princess Line in Santa Clarita, Calif.

Crown Princess, the newest of the line's ships, is under construction in Italy and will make its debut from Red Hook on a Caribbean cruise next April, Ms. Benson said. The $800 million Queen Mary 2, the world's largest passenger ship, made its inaugural voyage to New York last year, docking on the West Side with its stern jutting 132 feet into the Hudson, an incongruity symptomatic of the terminal, which was last renovated 35 years ago.

Dean Brown, executive vice president for fleet operations for the Cunard and Princess Lines, said that Carnival had decided to shift the berths of some of its best ships to Brooklyn because the Red Hook terminal was the first to be modernized by the city in a $150 million redevelopment project that will include the crowded, antiquated West Side Passenger Ship Terminal, between 48th and 52nd Streets.

"We're taking advantage of the fact that the Brooklyn terminal is the first to be redeveloped by the city in a manner that accommodates our passengers," Mr. Brown said. "We're happy to be there."

The money for the terminals' redevelopment was guaranteed under a deal in which Carnival and the Norwegian Cruise Lines, which together account for 80 percent of the cruise traffic in the city, agreed to bring in 13 million passengers and pay $200 million in port charges over the next 13 years. Ship lines pay docking fees based on a vessel's size and the number of passengers.

The city offered Carnival the option of moving some berths to Brooklyn, and Carnival has accepted. "We're looking forward to being the inaugural tenant of this brand new development," Mr. Brown said.

Ms. Ascher, of the Economic Development Corporation, said that the expansion of the cruise industry over the next decade was expected to raise the number of related jobs in the city to 5,000 from 3,300 and increase spending in New York - for hotels, meals, retail goods and other businesses - to $900 million from $600 million.

Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn borough president, hailed the shift to his borough as an economic breakthrough. "Brooklyn will be the most successful cruise line location in the Northeast," he predicted. "It all adds up to more jobs, more growth opportunities for Brooklyn businesses and entrepreneurs, and a huge boost for Brooklyn tourism."

Bruce Batkin, a developer who owns two former warehouses overlooking the Red Hook docks on Imlay Street and has been converting one to condominiums and retail spaces, said he had had unsolicited offers from hotel operators for the second property. Ship passengers, he said, would find Red Hook to be a fascinating neighborhood of artisans, craftsmen and new businesses, not a rundown waterfront.

"Life changes," he said. "Things change. Look at the East Village, the Lower East Side. Red Hook is artsy, not seedy. It's funky, richly textured."

May 2nd, 2005, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by tonyo in another thread...


Queen Mary 2, other cruise ships abandoning Manhattan

April 16, 2005, 9:56 AM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Four luxurious passenger and cruise ships _ including the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2 _ will abandon Manhattan and begin docking in Brooklyn next year.

Carnival Corp. will move the berths of the four ships to a huge pier the city is redeveloping in the Red Hook section, city and company officials said.

The city hopes the shift will create thousands of jobs, spur retail and tourist-industry development and breathe new life into what was once a bleak warehouse district.

The change is also expected to bring 250,000 more passengers to New York each year on top of the current 900,000. Abandoning the crowded terminal on the west side of Manhattan will add dozens of dockings to the ships' schedules.

"We're looking forward to being the inaugural tenant of this brand new development," Dean Brown, executive vice president for fleet operations for Carnival's Cunard and Princess lines, told The New York Times in Saturday's editions.

The pier will accommodate the 1,132-foot Queen Mary 2 _ the world's largest passenger ship _ plus the 963-foot Queen Elizabeth 2, the Star Princess and the Crown Princess, which makes its debut next year.

The Red Hook terminal is part of a $150 million revelopment project that will also include the cramped West Side Passenger Ship Terminal, between 48th and 52nd streets in Manhattan.

Copyright © 2005, The Associated Press

May 21st, 2005, 09:37 PM
The site of Red Hook Passenger Ship Terminal, with Williamsburg Savings Bank building. 21 May 2005.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/ship_terminal_red_hook.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/)

May 21st, 2005, 10:38 PM
So... has anything been done?

September 23rd, 2005, 03:51 PM
Not living in New York just wondered if any one knows how the redevelopment of the pier in Red Hook is going?
Is it on track for April 2006 As i am coming back to New York on the Qm2 next year and would like to have some idea if i will be docking in Brooklyn.

September 26th, 2005, 09:56 PM
No-pier pressure for Mike on liner


Politicians are famous for finding elaborate props to put in their election-year photo ops, but a 70,000-ton cruise ship?

That's what Mayor Bloomberg will be standing astride today when the city welcomes its first ocean liner, Oriana, to Red Hook, Brooklyn, where the city is planning a new passenger ship terminal.

The planned $47 million terminal isn't finished, and the next boat isn't due in Red Hook until April - well after this year's mayoral race - when the humongous Queen Mary 2 is scheduled to tie up.

But the city's Economic Development Corp. made an exception for the Oriana, city officials said, after realizing that all five of the city's piers on Manhattan's West Side were full this weekend.

Workers have been scurrying all week to put up temporary tents so that Bloomberg and the boat's 1,900 passengers will have a place to disembark.

"We are thrilled that our partners in the cruise industry have so much business to bring to New York City," said Bloomberg spokeswoman Jen Falk, who estimated that the ship's passengers could spend as much as $500,000 during their one day ashore.

The ship, which originated in Southampton, England, is then off to Boston, Maine and the Canadian coastline.

The city announced last spring that it had entered into an agreement with P&O Princess Cruises International, which owns the Oriana, to make the Red Hook pier its home in New York.

Noting the mayor's campaign race, one marine industry expert questioned the timing of the event, but praised the mayor for speedily getting the docks in ship shape.

"On one level, it could be seen as a photo op," said Carter Craft, director of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. "On another level, it could be seen as a feather in the mayor's hat, because they did the work fairly quickly."

Originally published on September 24, 2005

October 21st, 2005, 06:12 PM
I stumbled across a Brooklyn Cruises (http://www.brooklyncruiseguide.com/) Guide website, so at least someone thinks that the Brooklyn cruise terminal is moving forward. It has some interesting information about the cruises that will leave from Brooklyn, the terminal, and even some hotels nearby.

October 21st, 2005, 09:17 PM
Queen Mary 2, other cruise ships abandoning Manhattan
Bad idea.

October 21st, 2005, 10:39 PM
I stumbled across a Brooklyn Cruises (http://www.brooklyncruiseguide.com/) Guide website... It has some interesting information about the cruises that will leave from Brooklyn, the terminal, and even some hotels nearby.

They provide incorrect information - the rendering they show is outdated, the location of the terminal was changed since then.

October 23rd, 2005, 02:11 PM
They provide incorrect information - the rendering they show is outdated, the location of the terminal was changed since then.

Cool. Where can we see the real rendering of the terminal?

And all the articles posted here say Pier 12 is the location of the new terminal ... and so does the "Brooklyn Cruise Guide"? Are they all wrong?


October 23rd, 2005, 03:30 PM
Bad idea.

Ditto. The great Atlantic liners -- and, much later, cruise ships -- and their passengers of all classes have been arriving and departing from Manhattan's Hudson River piers for more than a century. It's a classic NYC experience for visitors and residents alike. Unless they detour, ships using this new dock will no longer sail past Lady Liberty and will slink into a no-class berth facing the back side of Governors Island. If this were a temporary measure to enable the City to modernize the Passenger Ship Terminal to allow the biggest ships to use it safely, that would be one thing, but I've seen no indication that it is. Shame on both the City and Cunard for letting this happen.

October 23rd, 2005, 05:08 PM
The new liners are too big for the existing West Side piers. Embarkation is a nightmare as well: traffic is ridiculous there for drop off / pick up. There is not enough parking close by to allow for towing of luggage from car to ship.

The ocean liner business outgrew the existing facilities as their Liners became bloated container-style ships for passengers.

Blame Cunard and the other Liner companies, not the NYC.

October 23rd, 2005, 05:24 PM
Blame Cunard and the other Liner companies, not the NYC.

I blame NYC for its lack of foresight and imagination -- the City has already twice built new and larger Hudson River pier complexes when ships outgrew the existing facilities. There's no reason why it shouldn't have done so again, instead of lavishing -- and ultimately, wasting -- its attention on nonsense like the Jets Stadium.

October 23rd, 2005, 05:32 PM

October 23rd, 2005, 08:00 PM
^ Here's the press release from the same site about the move to Brooklyn (one year after the press release above about the WEst Side Terminal):

Brooklyn To Give Berth To New Cruise Line Home ( 4/14/2005 )


October 23rd, 2005, 08:07 PM
And another from last month:


For Immediate Release
September 24, 2005Contact:
Contact: Edward Skyler/Jennifer Falk (212) 788-2958
Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (EDC) (212) 312-3523
Lisa Mortman (NYC & Company) (212) 484-1287
Mayor Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz And NYC & Company President Nicholas Welcome The Oriana To Brooklyn Cruise Terminal

( 9/24/2005 )

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today welcomed the Oriana, the first cruise ship to dock at the new facility being built by the City on the Brooklyn waterfront. The Oriana berthed in Red Hook at a temporary facility because the New York Cruise Terminal on Manhattan’s West Side is fully booked with five other cruise ships arriving today. Last spring, Carnival Corporation entered into an agreement with the City to make the Brooklyn facility its berth of choice in the New York region for its Princess and Cunard lines including the Queen Mary 2, which will be the first ship to dock at the completed facility in April 2006. The Mayor greeted Oriana Captain Mike Carr and his crew on their arrival in New York as the 1,800-passenger ship made its voyage from London on its way to Boston and Canada. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member David Yassky, Port Authority Assistant Director for Port Commerce Dennis Lombardi, New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew M. Alper and NYC & Company President Cristyne L. Nicholas also attended the welcoming ceremony at Brooklyn’s Pier 12.

“It is an astonishing sight to see this magnificent ship sail across New York Harbor on its way to the Brooklyn waterfront,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “I am pleased to welcome the Oriana, its crew and 1,800 passengers from the United Kingdom to the wonderful Borough of Brooklyn, where they will have an excellent opportunity to sample the many extraordinary attractions in the Borough and across the City – and hopefully tell their friends. The arrival of the first cruise ship in Brooklyn highlights the tremendous growth New York is experiencing in the cruise industry, which had an economic impact of $600 million and supported 3,200 jobs in the City last year, making it the third largest cruise market in the United States.”

“Pier 12 on Buttermilk Channel will soon be the official first stop in North America for visitors from all over the world, like those docking here today,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “The cruise industry will be great for Brooklyn, creating hundreds of new jobs and allowing Brooklynites to throw their luggage on a boat and before they know it arrive in the Caribbean or England. Visitors here will get the best views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, right from the deck. And once they step ashore and smell the marinara or taste the bagels or see the brownstones or visit the top-notch museums or experience Brooklynites’ world-famous hospitality – who knows? They might just stay forever. Because you can visit the world, and stay in Brooklyn.”

Once completed, the Brooklyn facility is expected to receive about 40 ships in its first year of operation. It will be the first in the New York market to be designed specifically to accommodate the largest cruise ships, which carry up to 3,000 passengers. Because of the size and weight of the Queen Mary 2, EDC is undertaking additional improvements to the Brooklyn facility, including deepening the channel, reinforcing mooring points that secure the ship at the pier, and upgrading the gangway to accommodate the high volume of passengers. Princess also requested additional improvements such as a new glass exterior and canopy, landscaping, a tourist kiosk and new signage. About $1 million of the additional $16 million allocated for this work is being provided by the Borough President. The architect for the new terminal is Bermello Ajamil & Partners, and the construction manager is Turner Construction.

“The new Brooklyn terminal is a very important development for all the companies in our Group, including sister companies Cunard, whose liner Queen Mary 2 will in the future berth there during her New York calls, and also Princess Cruises, which will homeport the new Crown Princess in Brooklyn beginning next June,” said Princess Cruises CEO Peter Ratcliffe. “We are grateful for all the hard work that has gone into making this and future calls a success.”

“New York City is making a substantial commitment to our cruise facilities over the next few years and we are confident these investments will pay off,” said EDC President Alper. “In Manhattan, we are pursuing major renovations of the New York Cruise Terminal to make it more compatible with today’s bigger cruise ships and to improve the passenger experience. And the new berth in Brooklyn will ensure enough capacity to accommodate the growing demand for berths in the region, as well as sustain 330 jobs on the Brooklyn waterfront. This is an increasingly important industry to our economy as it brings significant investment and high quality jobs to the City.”

“With the current and projected growth of the cruise business in the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Port Authority is excited that this new cruise terminal will bring opportunities for jobs and economic growth to the Borough of Brooklyn,” said Kenneth J. Ringler Jr., Executive Director of The Port Authority New York & New Jersey. “Through our lease of Piers 11 and 12 to the New York City Economic Development Corp., we’re now seeing a rebirth of key waterfront infrastructure along the Brooklyn waterfront.”

The City and Princess have arranged for passengers to explore New York City during their one-day visit by organizing shuttle buses that will take them to official NYC & Company Visitor Information Centers in Midtown and Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Tourism & Visitor Center at Borough Hall, and Grand Army Plaza for guests to access the Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. In addition, nearly half of the Oriana’s passengers pre-booked one of seven group tours through the cruise line to some of the City’s popular visitor attractions including the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, and Harlem. Upon return to the ship, passengers will enjoy food and beverages provided by some of Brooklyn’s favorite vendors including Jamaican-style patties from Tower Isle’s, pastries from Erica’s Rugelach, ice cream from Uncle Louie G and beverages from the Brooklyn Brewery.

“NYC & Company is proud to welcome the Oriana and her 1,800 passengers to Brooklyn’s Red Hook Terminal,” said Cristyne L. Nicholas, President & CEO of NYC & Company, the city’s tourism marketing organization. “The cruise line industry is a growing and important segment of the city’s tourism economy.”

The economic impact of the cruise industry in the City was $600 million in 2004, which is expected to climb to $900 million by 2011, according to EDC estimates. The industry supported 3,200 jobs in 2004, and the new Brooklyn facility will add another 330 jobs. Based on projections for the industry’s growth, New York City’s cruise sector is expected to support 5,000 jobs by 2014. NYC & Company projects that visitor spending of the Oriana’s one-day call is estimated to be about $500,000 for New York City.

New York City’s cruise industry has been growing at a record pace in the past few years. This weekend, the New York Cruise Terminal on the West Side will be at capacity as the Golden Princess, the Sea Princess, the Navigator, the Triumph, and the Crown ships will all be docking there, requiring the Oriana to come to Brooklyn. In 2004, about 900,000 passengers passed through the New York Cruise Terminal, compared with 400,000 annually in the 1990’s. For the first time, more than 1 million passengers are expected to arrive in New York City in 2006, which is expected to rise to 1.3 million by 2010. New York City reached agreements with Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines last year that will result in more than 13 million passengers arriving in the City through 2017. The agreements call for the cruise lines to pay the City at least $200 million in port charges through 2017 to support the City’s investment in improving its facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

October 23rd, 2005, 08:08 PM
Ultimately it sounds like the new terminal is great for Brooklyn.

January 24th, 2006, 10:34 AM
How about some help. How does one get to the pier 12 in Redhook. I am taking a cruise in June2006 with Princess. Coming into JFK or LGA. Is there a street address for the terminal and what kind of transportation one has to use to get there. Cab only?

January 24th, 2006, 08:37 PM
This is great Brooklyn. Considering that we have our FOUR cruise ships at Cape Liberty in Bayonne with Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean, only 10mins from my house in JC, Brooklyn will now have Carnival and Cunard with the Queen Mary 2. Good job Brooklyn and the neighborhood of gritty Redhook (raising glass of beer) this one's for you. :)

January 25th, 2006, 07:53 AM
How about some help. How does one get to the pier 12 in Redhook.

Paulie, Redhook is not a - far away - location: yet the exact loation is not easy to find. I will post map images here today that may be of some help to you.

There has been many new developments in that area; I too would be interested in getting clearer understand of the "lay of the Land" so to speak.

I will post a map for Paulie and others to see.

January 25th, 2006, 08:44 AM
How about some help. How does one get to the pier 12 in Redhook. I am taking a cruise in June2006 with Princess. Coming into JFK or LGA. Is there a street address for the terminal and what kind of transportation one has to use to get there. Cab only?
There is no convenient mass-transit to Red Hook, especially if you have luggage. Your best option from either airport is cab or car service/limo.

Approx road miles to pier 12:
JFK - 25
LGA - 15

January 25th, 2006, 12:35 PM
The idea of cruises coming to NY via Brooklyn is OK, but they need to do a massive sprucing up of the area if people's first impression, upon disembarkation, is not to be "Gee, what a dump!"
Red Hook may appeal to some New Yorkers in its current state, but really, as it is now, it isn't a flattering first impression of such a world class city. The area would need a major clean up. When I zoom in using Google Earth, the place looks like crap. Really disgusting with industrial waste, junked cars, parking lots, projects, and piers that seem to be crumbling into the water. Great visuals for people coming from places like London or Paris.
Am I wrong? Does this place look better in person and I need to go visit to see for myself?

Also, has the terminal been completed? I can't seem to find anything but renderings.

January 25th, 2006, 01:22 PM
Good website for Red Hook news.


The long range plans by the EDC call for expansion of cruise facilities to pier 10 within 5 years.

I think there will be ferry service from the ship terminal to points in Manhattan.

February 14th, 2006, 12:16 PM
Red Hook businesses will depend on cruise ship crews

By Jane Flanagan
for The Brooklyn Papers

The world’s largest passenger ship, the Queen Mary 2, is coming to Red Hook in April — and local businesses can’t wait to get a piece of the action. But the real money won’t be spent by the folks in the Bermuda shorts and velour jumpsuits.

Because Brooklyn will not be a “port of call” for the QM2 and other cruise ships, Red Hook businesses are instead focussing their attention on the 800-1,000 galley cooks, porters, butlers, housekeepers, waiters and other service personnel that work aboard the colossal crafts that will soon make Brooklyn their homeport.

“The passengers will be carted in and out. We won’t get much [business] from that,” said Arnaud Earhart, a co-owner of 360, a popular French restaurant on Van Brunt Street.

Most passengers will experience Red Hook from the window of a cab or bus taking them to or from the gangplank, but hundreds of workers will spill out of the hold looking for toothpaste, CDs, long-distance call centers, and other staples that are six times the price on board.

And it’ll happen 40 times a year, starting with the Queen Mary on April 15, according to port officials.

“The ships could make or break these businesses,” said Michael Skolimowski, a chef at the Pioneer Inn, who was chatting with neighbors on Van Brunt Street on a recent Friday evening.

Looking around at the fairly empty street, he added, “They need all the help they can get.”

Business owners say they are struggling mainly because there are just not enough people around to shop. Even if there were destination stores in the neighborhood — like the forthcoming Ikea and Fairway — there is no subway to get people there, meaning most customers will drive in and out.

Worse, unemployment in Red Hook is higher than the city average, so residents don’t have the kind of disposable income to support more than just the bare basics.

“We need an infusion of jobs,” said John Cleary, a resident who was chatting with friends at the VFW Hall on Van Brunt Street. “The manufacturing jobs are all gone.”

The cruise ships will change that — a little.

The ship terminal will generate 290 zjobs, ranging from management to customer service to stevedoring. Economic Development Corporation Vice President Andrew Genn said the jobs will be posted within three weeks.


You can read the rest of the article at:

March 12th, 2006, 05:46 PM
Red Hook Terminal -- a Mid-Construction Essay, Photo & Map
(hard hats required for all passengers)



Interestingly, although the terminal's in Brooklyn (Kings County), ships moored there will be in Manhattan (New York County).

March 12th, 2006, 07:20 PM
The idea of cruises coming to NY via Brooklyn is OK, but they need to do a massive sprucing up of the area if people's first impression, upon disembarkation, is not to be "Gee, what a dump!"
Red Hook may appeal to some New Yorkers in its current state, but really, as it is now, it isn't a flattering first impression of such a world class city. The area would need a major clean up. When I zoom in using Google Earth, the place looks like crap. Really disgusting with industrial waste, junked cars, parking lots, projects, and piers that seem to be crumbling into the water. Great visuals for people coming from places like London or Paris.
I'm not convinced the Brooklyn Cruise Ship Terminal is a good idea, not just for the reasons you give but also because it will deprive folks of that great skyline cruise up the Hudson. What a letdown, honey; we're tying up in Brooklyn. Romantic.

March 12th, 2006, 07:29 PM
You mean to say that the beautiful areas of Brooklyn such as the current Atlantic Yards area--the one they are so desperately trying to save from development--are not enough of an attraction for foreign visitors?

March 12th, 2006, 08:05 PM
^ Beauty's in the beholder's eye. These beholders see beauty where others can't; they have an eye for Brooklyn's fine points. They're railyard connoisseurs. They can also find beauty in parking lots. They're fortunate because beauty surounds them on all sides.

March 12th, 2006, 08:27 PM
Only 4 of the 30 ships that visit New York in 2006 will dock in Brooklyn.

The loss of a trip up the Hudson to the small minority of passengers is no big deal when compared to the mess on the West Side Terminal on a weekend when three ships are in dock. It's not just a question of the length of the piers; the area can no longer handle the increased volume.

Developing the Brooklyn terminal was a smart idea. If it wasn't done, we may have lost more ships to Bayonne, and that would be incredible for a city with over 500 miles of shoreline.

March 12th, 2006, 08:32 PM
^ Very practical.

March 12th, 2006, 08:33 PM
So that's it? They're not going to do anything to the Westside piers like upgrading them?

March 12th, 2006, 08:49 PM
The plan is to also upgrade the West Side piers.

March 12th, 2006, 09:03 PM
So the ships will be back to Manhattan when they're done, right?
Btw, I hope that they are doing more than just upgrading them. I hope they put more amenities into them to make them world-class and comparable to the very best found in Europe and elsewhere.

April 11th, 2006, 11:12 PM
A terminal grows in Brooklyn


Even if there isn't a cruise vacation in your future, you may want to find your way down to Red Hook next Saturday. That's when the Queen Mary 2 -- nearly four football fields long and as tall as a 23-story building -- sails into the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at Pier 12.

Wherever she sails, people are bound to notice. Indeed, ever since the QM2 first took to the waters in 2004, the 150,000-ton hulk has turned more than a few heads here in New York, though usually along the Hudson River when pulling into midtown Manhattan's New York Cruise Terminal, this country's fourth-busiest cruise terminal.

On Saturday, after maneuvering a 360-degree spin that will have her front end pointing toward the Upper Bay, she'll back herself into the lone slip off Pier 12 and, in the process, usher in a new era of luxury cruise line service.

For now, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal will be used exclusively by four Carnival Corp. ships: Cunard's QM2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 and Princess Cruises' Crown Princess and Star Princess. More than 300,000 passengers are expected to pass through in this inaugural year, with 38 departures scheduled over the next nine months. (Holland America and Norwegian Cruise Lines will continue operating out of Manhattan as that facility undergoes an extensive renovation and expansion project. Passenger numbers are expected to grow from 845,000 in 2004 to approximately 1.17 million by 2010 -- a 6.4 percent annual growth rate.)

Boarding procedure

Upon arrival, curbside baggage handlers will greet passengers, after which they'll walk through a large glass opening into a semicircular entrance hall. A security room on the right will lead to 40 check-in slots and a newly constructed tower building from which two glass gangways will usher the passenger onto the waiting ship.

While a VIP room and 800- seat waiting area will afford the traveler some potential downtime, the boarding process is focused on speed and efficiency, said David Alvarez of the New York City Economic Development Corp., which manages the terminal on behalf of the city.

"There won't be any Internet bays or coffee stations," he said.

Alvarez made the remark during a media tour of the 16- acre site on a late March afternoon three weeks before opening day. While the rebuilt steel shed's white paint glistened in the sunlight, inside the 180,000-square-foot cavernous space remained bare amid uncoiled wires, naked bulbs in plastic mesh encasements and a crew of workers in the process of laying down carpet squares atop a gray concrete floor.

Alvarez assured the assembled group that all would be ready on time, focusing attention, instead, south, in the direction of the Statue of Liberty, west across the narrow Buttermilk Channel to Governors Island and north to the Lower Manhattan skyline and Brooklyn Bridge.

In addition to these spectacular views, passengers will have a chance to gaze out upon Red Hook and southern Brooklyn, although it's doubtful many will take the opportunity to tour the surrounding neighborhoods, given the terminal's home port status. Still, with mega-ships such as the QM2 employing nearly 1,300 onboard personnel, Red Hook shopkeepers are anticipating an upturn in foot traffic.

Hoping for some spin-off

"Ships staff upwards of a thousand people," said Renato Poliafito, co-owner of Baked, a style-conscious coffee shop and bakery on Van Brunt Street, "and if a hundred of them would come by, that would change our business considerably."

But much of Red Hook's waterfront remains abandoned, owing to the advent of modern container shipping in the 1950s, when the East River piers became obsolete and longshoreman jobs hemorrhaged out to New Jersey. Destination stores like the forthcoming Ikea and Fairway promise to bring in much-needed investment but may also draw away from the neighborhood's unique maritime character.

"There's a beauty here already, and you have to pay attention to it," said Florence Neil, an artist and curator of the Kentler International Drawing Space. Neil welcomes the terminal, as does David Sharps, a longtime resident and president of the Waterfront Museum.

Sharps, 49, came of age working as a juggler on Carnival Cruise Line ships, and he now sees an opportunity to reclaim Red Hook's once-thriving maritime tradition, though he notes it will be of a significantly different orientation. "I've had an exciting front-row seat," said Sharps of his museum's location on Pier 44 off Conover Street, "and it will be fun to see Carnival Cruise Lines docking in my back yard."
Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

April 12th, 2006, 02:57 PM
QM2 4/15

Ar 0430
Dp 1700

April 12th, 2006, 05:45 PM
http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--brooklyncruises0412apr12,0,3671398.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork (http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--brooklyncruises0412apr12,0,3671398.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyorkQueen)
Queen Mary 2, other cruise ships to dock in Brooklyn
Associated Press Writer

April 12, 2006, 11:50 AM EDT

NEW YORK -- For nearly a century, great ocean liners ended their trans-Atlantic crossings with a grand finale _ a nautical stroll past the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan's soaring towers. That changes starting Saturday, when the world's biggest passenger ship edges into a remote Brooklyn pier once known for coffee, corruption and crime.

What happens when nearly 2,200 passengers step off the Queen Mary 2 is also different. Rather than midtown Manhattan where hotels are a quick cab ride away, they'll be in Red Hook, facing a convoluted trip through traffic-clogged streets to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel or the Brooklyn Bridge.

The arrival of the Queen Mary 2, on the first of 11 scheduled visits to New York this year, marks the formal opening of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Visitors in the next few months will include its older Cunard sister, Queen Elizabeth 2, and four P&O Princess Cruise ships also owned by Carnival Corp.

The terminal came into being after several other cruise lines transferred from the outmoded cruise terminal on Manhattan's Upper West Side to Bayonne, N.J., dealing a blow to the city's $600 million annual cruise business. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's answer was a $150 million plan to upgrade the west side terminal and open a new one on Brooklyn's vacant pier 12, where coffee-importing ships once tied up.

In 2004, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines signed agreements guaranteeing at least 13 million visitors and $200 million in port charges to the city through 2017, but only Cunard and Princess, both owned by Carnival, plan to make Red Hook their New York home port.

Brooklyn officials expect the facility to inject new vitality into a gritty, long-neglected slice of Brooklyn whose name, dating from Dutch settler days, recalls an era when shipyards built sailing vessels; grain barged from the Middle West via the Erie Canal was loaded on ships for Europe; and the docks were plagued by labor strife as portrayed in the Oscar-winning 1954 film, "On the Waterfront."

While developers have recently discovered Red Hook, visitors might find it a picturesque but amenities-deprived melange of brick streets, 19th-century warehouses, flower pots on stoops and attack-trained Dobermans and a Rottweiler named "Pretty Boy" snarling behind chain-link fences.

Even Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn's borough president, concedes passengers won't spend much time or money in Red Hook as long as it remains only a place for arrivals and departures.

"My real objective, I want Brooklyn to be a port of call," Markowitz said in an interview. "Ships leaving Canada on their way to Florida, I want them to stop in Brooklyn. That's the real honey. Right now we've got the milk, but I want the honey."

To that end, Brooklyn will promote its attractions at a terminal kiosk and in brochures aboard ships. "I don't want to take anything away from Manhattan. I want people to understand there is something beyond Manhattan," Markowitz said.

Red Hook residents have mixed views about cruise ships docking at their front door.

"It's going to be good," said transit worker Richard Meyer, 52, a Red Hook native. "When I retire I can just wheel my luggage down to the dock and go for a cruise."

Others complain that the terminal is not creating jobs for Red Hook itself. "Everybody over there seems to be from somewhere else," said Jean Francois, a laid-off truck driver who lives nearby.

Justo Lugo, 42, said he had been turned away twice. "I thought I was going to get a job but it seems if you don't know anyone you won't get anything. They seem to be giving me the brushoff now."

Residents of adjacent neighborhoods, meanwhile, fear a flood of trucks, cars, taxis and buses as a small army of drivers, cleaners and reprovisioners swarms over each arriving ship, while disembarking passengers are "hustled off," as Markowitz puts it, and new ones board in time for the lunch buffet.

"It'll be a traffic nightmare _ everything from heavy trucks to gypsy cabs," predicted Vincent Favorito, a lawyer in nearby Carroll Gardens, who sits on a local waterfront economic development committee. "I haven't seen anything resembling a plan to move people on and off the ships and get to the tunnel to Manhattan."

Markowitz shrugs off such concerns, saying ships arriving on weekends during the April-October cruise season should have minimal impact. Moreover, he said, the terminal was designed for handling 4,000 people at a time.

The 180,000-square-foot terminal has been gussied up, with paint, landscaping and a Dodger-blue "Welcome to Brooklyn" logo. Dredging, dock improvements and other upgrades requested by Cunard pushed the $30 million cost estimate for a "basic vanilla" terminal to $52 million, said Janel Patterson, spokeswoman for the NYC Economic Development Corp.

City officials also cut the original estimate of 600 new jobs by half, and the terminal actually will have perhaps two dozen regular employees.

How the 1,132-foot QM2 will maneuver in the tight confines of Buttermilk Channel, a tidal strait separating Brooklyn from Governors Island, was not clear, but the ship is equipped with spacecraft-type thrusters enabling it to dock without tugboats.

Queen Mary 2, the only liner in scheduled trans-Atlantic service, will make nine crossings between now and November, plus two fall visits to Canada. The QE2 calls on Sept. 19 during its annual round-the-world voyage, and Princess ships, including the new, 3,100-passenger Crown Princess, will make 15 trips to the Caribbean from Brooklyn.

Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.

April 14th, 2006, 06:47 AM
Cruise terminal as seen from mid-river April 12

April 16th, 2006, 02:05 AM
^ Looks like a hamster cage for humans.


April 16th, 2006, 02:13 AM
New Brooklyn Terminal Shows It's Fit for Queen


Richard Perry/The New York Times
Having forsaken Manhattan, the Queen Mary 2 docked yesterday for the first time at Pier 12 in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Published: April 16, 2006

The county of kings received a new queen yesterday.

During the early morning hours, the Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger liner ever built, nosed through the Verrazano Narrows and docked at the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, shrouded in mist so thick that it obscured Governors Island nearby.

It was the final stop on a 38-day cruise that the ship began in Los Angeles in March, snaking down to South America and around Cape Horn before cruising back north with about 2,600 passengers who the city hopes will be the first of about 200,000 arrivals and departures at the new terminal over the next year.

By 10 a.m., the fog had thinned out, the sun shone brightly, and several dozen politicians, community leaders and cruise line executives stood in the harbor breeze to congratulate one another on the terminal's official opening.

"I hate to rush this press conference, actually, but I heard the shuffleboard tournament starts at 11, and Marty thinks that he can take me," said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, referring to the Brooklyn borough president, Marty Markowitz. "Dream on, Markowitz."

Heralding the terminal, he said, "The people of New York conceived the idea, secured the funding, kicked off construction and today we celebrate its grand opening."

Weighing more than 150,000 tons, the Queen Mary 2 is essentially an enormous floating luxury hotel, with plush carpeting, formal dining and five duplex apartments among its 1,300 passenger rooms. It is 23 stories high and 1,132 feet long, the equivalent of about four football fields, 36 London buses or an extremely long lunch buffet.

The new Brooklyn terminal was built to match, with a cavernous waiting room and check-in area, gangways the size of constructions cranes and acres upon acres of blacktopped parking lot. Much of it was covered yesterday with a fleet of limousines and taxis, ranked with military precision to whisk the ship's passengers away to New York's airports and tourist destinations.

Hundreds of Brooklynites gathered at the edges of the fenced-in port to take in the site of the ship, and a few managed to sneak past the barricade.

"It woke us up this morning, so we figured we needed to come see it," said Nick Elezovic, 35, who was sleeping in Carroll Gardens when the ship blew its horns as it arrived. He brought his friend, Susan Johnson 27, and her parents — Floridians in town for Easter — to watch from the dock.

"It's gigantic," he said of the ship.

Yesterday's ceremony was the culmination of a two-year renovation of Pier 12, a formerly dilapidated Red Hook berth not far from docks where longshoreman still unload heavy goods from Brooklyn's last remaining container-ship port.

Under an agreement signed in 2004 with the Carnival and Norwegian Cruise lines, the city spent $52 million building the 182,000-square-foot terminal, constructing new mooring points and deepening the berth. (Mr. Markowitz and the federal government chipped in a few million, too.)

In return, the cruise lines will pay the city at least $200 million in port charges through 2017 and guarantee that at least 13 million passengers will arrive or depart in their ships at the city's terminals during those years.

The Red Hook terminal is now the largest cruise ship facility in New York City, at least until renovations are completed on the Manhattan terminal, at West 46th Street. The Red Hook terminal is the first cruise port in the city that is long enough and deep enough for the extra-large ships — many of them larger than aircraft carriers — which account for an ever-growing share of the worldwide cruise business.

According to the city's Economic Development Corporation, the Brooklyn terminal will accommodate 192,000 passengers from 38 ships in its first year of operation, eventually accounting for about one-fifth of the roughly one million passengers who will pass through New York City this year. Within five years, the corporation expects the industry to generate $900 million per year in economic activity, up from $600 million in 2004.

The new terminal also marks another step in the Brooklyn waterfront's slow conversion from heavy industry to a mix of parks, restaurants and condominium buildings.

"What's exciting is that it's the first substantial investment on these piers in 50 years — and it's only the beginning," said Andrew Brent, a spokesman for the development corporation. Six nearby piers are already scheduled for development as part of the future Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will take up a stretch of land from Atlantic Avenue to just past the Manhattan Bridge.

The city is also trying to take over another nearby portion of the waterfront, one currently occupied by American Stevedoring, a container port operator that has survived — and even thrived — as most of its competitors have migrated across the harbor to New Jersey.

"Cruise and containers can happily coexist," said Matt Yates, a spokesman for the company. "The container port is a vibrant and essential component of Brooklyn's varied waterfront. By bringing both aesthetics and billions of dollars in economic activity, it provides Brooklyn with a worthwhile use for her storied piers, and brings much-needed wealth to our local economy."

But yesterday, at least, the Queen Mary 2 brooked no rivals. At about quarter past five, just after a laggard crew member scurried aboard with her bags, the ship sounded three blasts on its horn, and began gliding back to sea, the strains of "New York, New York" wafting across the stern.


April 16th, 2006, 11:34 AM
[SIZE="5"] The city is also trying to take over another nearby portion of the waterfront, one currently occupied by American Stevedoring, a container port operator that has survived — and even thrived — as most of its competitors have migrated across the harbor to New Jersey.

"Cruise and containers can happily coexist," said Matt Yates, a spokesman for the company. "The container port is a vibrant and essential component of Brooklyn's varied waterfront. By bringing both aesthetics and billions of dollars in economic activity, it provides Brooklyn with a worthwhile use for her storied piers, and brings much-needed wealth to our local economy."

Strange how we hired an entrepreneur Mayor, and yet the City's hostile policies to the private sector remain unabated. The City should be encouraging MORE container ports in Red Hook, not trying to shut down the sole one that has survived the PA's abandonment for NJ.

April 16th, 2006, 04:56 PM
A photo essay from the World Ship Society, Port of NY Branch, on yesterday's opening of the Red Hook Terminal and the arrival and departure of QM2: Brooklyn Cruise Terminal Opens (http://www.worldshipny.com/qm2bklyn.html).

April 16th, 2006, 08:40 PM

From Gothamist.

April 16th, 2006, 08:50 PM
Ship looks top-heavy.

April 16th, 2006, 09:09 PM
The City should be encouraging MORE container ports in Red Hook, not trying to shut down the sole one that has survived the PA's abandonment for NJ.

Brooklyn's loss is Staten Island's gain, Howland Hook is growing rapidly with the arrival of 4 new Super Max crains and the re-establishment of rail service to New Jersey.

Howland Hook, Port Newark, Port Elizabeth, Global Marine can support modern container operations. The Brooklyn waterfront infastructure is quite poor and too small to support large port operations.

There's no room to store the mountains of Containers (thanks to the trade inbalance)

There's no rail service to New Jersey which means any containers arriving at that are to be delivered to points South and West of Brooklyn (basically the whole Country) would have to routed all the way to Albany before they could cross the Hudson. Float barges just can't carry enough stacked container trains to make it profitable.

The future of Port Operations in New York City is Staten Island, not Brooklyn. Plenty of land and excellent rail and highway infastructure that allows easy access to the Nation's Interstate Rail and Highway network. All that's needed is to replace the Goethals Bridge (already being studied).

April 16th, 2006, 09:33 PM
Ship looks top-heavy.

Height: 236 ft
Draft: 32 ft 10 in

I guess she is.

All the new ones look like buses.

April 17th, 2006, 01:20 AM
There's no rail service to New Jersey which means any containers arriving at that are to be delivered to points South and West of Brooklyn (basically the whole Country) would have to routed all the way to Albany before they could cross the Hudson. Float barges just can't carry enough stacked container trains to make it profitable.

The Port Authority was founded to build a cross-harbor rail tunnel from New Jersey to Brooklyn. If the agency would just do what they are supposed to do, then this problem would be solved.

April 17th, 2006, 07:29 AM





April 17th, 2006, 07:37 AM
Wow! Magnificent!

April 17th, 2006, 06:00 PM
The Port Authority was founded to build a cross-harbor rail tunnel from New Jersey to Brooklyn. If the agency would just do what they are supposed to do, then this problem would be solved.

And where in Brooklyn are you going to find the thousands of acres needed to support ship to rail yards, or to stack the thousands of containers that need to be classified and transfered.

In the old days the classification of freight and it's transfer from ship to truck/rail happened right on the dock, ships would be tied up for a week waiing to be unloaded.

The modern container industry (invented at Port Newark in the 1950s) can have a ship unloaded and departed within hours, and the containers stacked and then restacked untill it finds it's way to either a truck or a double stack train for shipment.


Red Hook is 80 acres, Port Newark/Elizabeth is close to 3,000 acres.

April 17th, 2006, 08:43 PM
Queen Mary 2 (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/../cruises/cunard/) left yesterday. Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/), Red Hook, Brooklyn. 16 April 2006.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/brooklyn_cruises_red_hook.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/)

Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/), Brooklyn. 16 April 2006.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/brooklyn_terminal.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/)

The entrance to Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/) at the corner of Bowne and Imlay Streets in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 16 April 2006.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/brooklyn_cruise_terminal.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/cruises/brooklyn/)

April 17th, 2006, 09:02 PM
View from Jersey:


April 17th, 2006, 09:03 PM
^ Some glamour!

April 18th, 2006, 01:19 AM
And where in Brooklyn are you going to find the thousands of acres needed to support ship to rail yards, or to stack the thousands of containers that need to be classified and transfered.

Those can stay in Jersey -- thus the rail tunnel to Jersey. In any event, I am not proposing to replace the Newark Port, just supplement it with a Red Hook addendum. There is a whole new category of mega-ships that simply will not be able to fit in the shallow Port Newark, even after the PA has spent some $300 million blasting a deeper shipping channel. Those ships can dock in Red Hook, which has a true deep water port. If Red Hook is not an option, then they will dock in Halifax or Baltimore, not Newark.

April 18th, 2006, 01:50 AM
What about the cross-harbor freight TUNNEL (http://www.moveny.org/news_studybacks.html) -- wouldn't that end up near the old Army Terminal (http://www.swbidc.org/bat/default.htm) in Brooklyn?

Thread HERE (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3051)


April 18th, 2006, 10:49 PM
The Kill Van Kull is being deepened to 55 feet, eventually they might even go to 60 ft. That along with the Port Authority's plan to raise the height of the Bayonne bridge are both much more cost effective investments than spending $6 Billion to bring rail service to a 80 acre waterfront in Brooklyn.

Port Newark/ Elizabeth, Howland Hook and Global Marine are more than capable of competing against Charleston, Halifax etc..

Port Newark/Elizabeth is under going a Billion dollar modernization and expansion, also Global Marine Terminal in Bayonne just received two additional super max cranes for a total of four that can handle the largest container ships currently in service. Howland Hook also just received 4 new cranes to handle larger container ships.

Here's the major freight routes into the area, note the major routes all lead to Port Newark, I work in Union County and when I go for coffee in the Morning I have to wait for nearly mile long double stack container trains along the Lehigh Valley line to pass in Clark.


April 19th, 2006, 05:00 PM
Also with the blasting the channels will be as deep as the ones in Brooklyn. Just face it NJ is a better alternative.

August 30th, 2006, 01:55 AM
The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (http://www.inredhook.com/cruises/) in Red Hook on 17 August 2006.

http://inredhook.com/wp/media/brooklyn_cruises_qm2.jpg (http://www.inredhook.com/cruises/)

August 30th, 2006, 02:03 AM
Nice pic!

January 19th, 2007, 09:28 AM
Battle of Red Hook Pivots On Cargo and Cruise Ships

By: Matthew Schuerman

Date: 1/22/2007

Just a couple of years ago, the container port in Red Hook, Brooklyn, looked doomed.

It was doing less than 1 percent of the Port Authority’s business. Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff wanted to replace its orange cranes with cruise ships. And real-estate developers were gnawing at the edges, trying to convert onetime warehouses into market-rate condos with splendid views.

But fierce reactions from neighbors and politicians who want to hold tightly to the “working waterfront” of Red Hook’s storied past spurred the city’s Economic Development Corporation to temper this condos-and-cruise-ship formula.

So the E.D.C. has proposed a little bit of everything in the 150-acre waterfront that’s now going through a rezoning. The map that E.D.C. put forth in September of piers 7 through 12 shows a beer garden, restaurants, warehouses, a hotel with a conference center, offices, light industrial buildings, a marina, a boatyard, a hotel, art galleries and artist studios, retail shops, offices and something called a “Dynamic Maritime Marketplace.”

Oh, and two piers for break-bulk cargo, container ships and a second cruise-ship terminal. (The first cruise-ship terminal opened last April.)

“The city’s plans would effectively preserve the industrial nature of the piers and combine it with recreational and commercial uses as well,” said Craig Hammerman, the district manager of Brooklyn’s Community Board 6. “I think that it has been quite a challenge to fit all the pieces together.”

At first, it looked so simple.

In 2003, the city began planning for the super-huge post-Panamax ships (pop. 4,000) that would need larger berths than those available at the 1970’s-era Passenger Ship Terminal on Manhattan’s West Side. Before it could announce any plans, Royal Caribbean International decided to start berthing two of its ships in Bayonne, N.J., because the West Side was getting too crowded.

Hell, if a cruise line was willing to move to New Jersey, convincing one to move to Marlon Brando’s old turf would be a cinch, wouldn’t it? (In fact, around the same time, Carnival approached the city with an offer to build a terminal in Red Hook.)

The E.D.C. commissioned a consulting firm, Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, which predicted 1.5 million passengers sailing into and out of New York each year within a decade—triple the number in 1998. The report, which The Observer obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, called for three super-sized berths in Red Hook. The piers are owned by the Port Authority and run by a cargo operator, American Stevedoring, that has been doing a respectable business since taking over 13 years ago (even if most of the cargo must be shipped via barge to Newark, where it can be put onto trains).

The only problem with cruise ships is that they don’t employ a lot of people on land. What’s more, those jobs tend to be weekend jobs. In fact, according to the Bermello report, the main reason why the city needed to build two or three extra cruise-ship berths in Red Hook, in addition to modernizing the ones on the West Side, was because “all of the sought after weekend slots will be committed from 2005 forward.”

Carnival said that it would bring the equivalent of 863 full-time jobs, according to a 2004 report by another consultant, HR&A. The city’s later estimate of 600 was more modest, although even then it was counting spin-off jobs. Then E.D.C. cut the job number down to 290, but most of those were just porters and others who showed up the 40-odd days a ship called in port. Finally, the E.D.C. coughed up this number: Just eight to 10 people work full-time at the current cruise-ship terminal.

“That’s the nature of maritime jobs,” said Janel Patterson, an E.D.C. spokeswoman. “They work on berthing days. These include unionized stevedoring jobs as well as ticketing agents and other support staff.”

But eight to 10 full-time jobs, or even 53 to 55 full-time-equivalent jobs, on 15 acres of land doesn’t look good when one is trying to milk a precious resource like New York real estate.

Even the E.D.C.’s rezoning proposal, relying on Port Authority numbers, counts 330 jobs at the Red Hook cargo and warehousing operation on an average day, which comes to about 5.5 jobs per acre. (The cargo operator, American Stevedoring, says it employs 765 people, including drivers, which puts the yield at 12.75 per acre.) The current cruise-ship terminal yields about 3.7 jobs per acre.

The way the E.D.C. gets its job numbers up has very little to do with cruise terminals, like hosting a beer-distribution company that would move 400 jobs from Queens and hire another 100. Together with the part-time cruise-ship jobs, E.D.C. can boast of creating or retaining 1,300 jobs in its plans for piers 7 through 12, though it’s unclear how many are full-time.

What’s more, these are “water-dependent uses” that nostalgists and pragmatists alike agree will conform to the essence of Red Hook.

But when it comes right down to it, the future of cargo at Red Hook—specifically containers, those 20-to-40-foot-long train cars that are raised and lowered from ships via 100-foot-tall cranes—is the crux of this debate. And industry leaders, community members and elected officials—particularly Congressman Jerrold Nadler and City Councilman David Yassky—have all come to this shaky future’s defense.

“My view is, the container port is an important source for good-paying, blue-collar jobs,” Mr. Yassky told The Observer. “My sense is that shipping in Brooklyn could be providing many, many more jobs than what it is today. The policy for the Port Authority, and unfortunately the city, is more directed at getting rid of the container port than expanding it.”

When it comes to the E.D.C.’s plan to push the cargo and warehousing operation, now occupying five piers, onto two, Mr. Yassky said: “I don’t think anybody thinks that seriously would work. That’s just a way of saying that they are maintaining cargo operations without really doing so.”

Matt Yates, a spokesman for A.S.I., the private port operator, said that the E.D.C. plan would convert the company’s best container berth, Pier 10, into the new cruise-ship terminal. The one pier left for break-bulk and container operations would be too small for many vessels, he added.

All this is not to say that the cargo operator enjoys universal support on the ground. Red Hook is sparsely populated and poorly linked by public transportation, and some residents see more retail and housing as the key to making the neighborhood livelier.

“I think the container ships could in fact operate more efficiently with a smaller site,” said John McGettrick, co-chairman of the Red Hook Civic Association. “The cruise ships have not employed as many residents as we would have liked, but they have employed more Red Hook residents than A.S.I. has. Also, the cruise ships are complementary for a commercial and residential revitalization of the area.”

But the miniaturized cargo operation would not remain for long. The E.D.C. says it wants a third cruise-ship terminal at Red Hook, but hasn’t specified which use outlined in the new plan it would displace. On the other hand, even the port’s supporters say that cargo cannot remain in Red Hook forever, but will have to move a couple of miles further south.

“From any long-term perspective, the major port should be in Sunset Park,” Mr. Nadler told The Observer. “But you should not shut one and not bother to open another one.”

And so the E.D.C. has begun talking up a plan to modernize the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, a series of underused piers between 25th and 65th streets, expanding the rail system to permit sea-to-land connections. A chart produced by the E.D.C. and distributed to local officials shows this plan costing $100 million, on top of the $330 million that the city would have to invest to make its plans for the Red Hook piers work.

The Sunset Park plan wouldn’t entirely replace the space lost in Red Hook, however, but it does call for two cranes (instead of Red Hook’s six) that would permit the 39th Street pier to dock 200 vessels annually, according to the chart. And a cement company has begun unloading barges on another pier, with another contract for a similar operation in the works, according to the E.D.C.

Mr. Yassky considers the Sunset Park plan “not for real shipping” and asserts that it came only in the face of fierce opposition to the Red Hook plan. (The E.D.C. spokeswoman said the plan had long been in the works.)

At this point, both he and Mr. Nadler have set their hopes for Red Hook on the Port Authority. So far, of course, the Port Authority has played along with the city’s cruise-ship plans, in the name of greater economic development for everyone. (It also pays money to maintain the piers.)

But Mr. Nadler sees a fresh opening: Governor Eliot Spitzer has control over half of the Port Authority’s board and the executive director.

“We talked to [Spitzer’s] transportation people before they took office, and they said they wanted to review everything,” Mr. Nadler said. “One thing they said for sure is that we will have a freight policy. Red Hook is just a small part of that, but that’s what we need—some sort of freight policy, whether it be in Red Hook or in Sunset Park. They cannot just look at piers 7 through 12. I understand that.”

The lease for the cargo company, American Stevedoring, comes up at the end of March. The city expects to take over all the piers at that point. But, through the E.D.C., it has been negotiating with the Port Authority for more than a year, without reaching—as of yet—an agreement on the takeover.

copyright © 2006 the new york observer, llc

May 21st, 2010, 06:56 AM
Looks like the Qm2 is back in Manhattan at least for the day.

May 21st, 2010, 07:15 AM

February 6th, 2011, 07:57 AM
The Queen Mary 2 (QM2) at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (http://www.inredhook.com/cruises/) in Red Hook on 17 August 2006.

http://inredhook.com/wp/media/brooklyn_cruises_qm2.jpg (http://www.inredhook.com/cruises/)

Plugged-In Ships

Q. Whatever happened to the proposal to wire the Brooklyn cruise ship terminal at Red Hook (right) so that ships in port can get their electric power from Con Edison instead of spewing diesel exhaust over Red Hook?

A. Pretty much everyone says they are for shore-based power — known as cold ironing in marine language — since it can remove a major source of pollution the ships produce when they burn bunker fuel. According to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/port_authority_of_new_york_and_new_jersey/index.html?inline=nyt-org), which owns the Red Hook piers, electricity from the power grid produces about one-tenth of the emissions produced by a ship’s onboard generators. Money for the pier improvements is already in the Port Authority’s budget. Shore-based electric power for the cruise ship terminal would be produced by the New York State Power Authority (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/new_york_power_authority/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and delivered through the Consolidated Edison Company’s electrical distribution system.

But there is a continuing disagreement over the delivery rate Con Edison would charge to use its distribution system, a rate that is set by the state’s Public Service Commission (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/p/public_service_commission/index.html?inline=nyt-org). (Con Edison would actually charge the New York Power Authority, which would then charge the terminal operator, a division of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, for both energy and delivery. Eventually, the ship owners would pay.)

The Port Authority, the city, the Environmental Protection Agency (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/e/environmental_protection_agency/index.html?inline=nyt-org) and some consumer groups favor changing Con Edison’s existing rate structure so that the Power Authority’s costs would be lowered and the kind of electrical service the ships would use would be much cheaper. According to the Port Authority, ships berthed in the Port of New York and using shore power at the Power Authority’s present rates would be paying four times the average cost of using their own oil-fueled generators.

But Con Edison opposes changing the rate structure just to make it cheaper for the ships. The cost to maintain the distribution system remains the same, so that if Con Edison rates are cut for one group, the rates for all other groups (homeowners, for instance) might have to go up. “How do you come up with a fair rate that doesn’t burden other customers?” Chanoch Lubling, Con Edison’s vice president of regulatory services, said in an interview. Shore-based power through feeder connections “happens to be a great idea,” he said. “I think the big debate here is who should pay for their cost.”

Talks among the various interest groups lasted from February to August without agreement. Their final report in September, outlining the disagreements, was filed with the Public Service Commission. It included an opinion by the commission’s staff that the way Con Edison’s delivery rates are currently structured posed “neither a barrier to, nor an unwarranted incentive for” the kind of electrical facilities shore-based power would need.