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Thread: Red Hook, Brooklyn

  1. #61
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Mickey Mouse plan
    Critics rip Disneyesque theme park on Red Hook piers

    By Ariella Cohen
    The Brooklyn Papers

    Elected officials from Washington to City Hall this week derided Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to turn the Red Hook and Cobble Hill waterfront into a maritime-themed tourist attraction as “Disney on the Waterfront.”

    And one Red Hooker described the plan as “a pimping of the waterfront.”

    “The history of maritime trade is as old as prostitution and it looks like the maritime trades are about to be prostituted,” said Tom Kerr, a resident of Beard Street.

    The criticism is a reaction to city plans to oust the area’s remaing cargo business and transform the fenced-off working waterfront into a phantasmagoria of family-friendly attractions, housing and restaurants.

    “This is part of a scheme for a New York with as few blue-collar jobs as possible,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-Coney Island) at a public hearing last week on the plan’s environmental impact.

    A spokesman for the company that operates the area’s last working cargo port sees Bloomberg’s plan as a plot against Democratic union jobs.

    “It’s a dollars-for-developers scheme from a Republican administration with no interest in keeping good jobs in Brooklyn,” said Matt Yates, director of operations for American Stevedoring, which is facing eviction next March from the publicly owned piers.

    The city Economic Development Corporation says it can create 3,000 new service sector jobs — and housing for 700 people — by evicting ASI and its several hundred full-time longshoremen.

    The cranes operated by those dockworkers would disappear to also make way for a 250-room hotel on a currently inaccessible stretch of waterfront west of Columbia Street.

    A smaller working port, with 100 jobs, would be retained.

    Residents who testified at last week’s Community Board 6 hearing cautioned against rezoning the waterfront for residential development.

    “There are other places to put housing,” said Dan Wiley, spokesman for Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Sunset Park).

    Others complained that development would overcrowd schools and parks, taking a large toll on the quality of life in a neighborhood that is slowly regaining a residential population that vanished after World War II.

    “We need the peaceful waterfront community and good schools that we have spent the last forever fighting for,” said Grace Seifman, who has lived in the neighborhood for nearly a decade. “We don’t need more housing blocking our views, another theme park or a South Street Seaport.”

    But city planners promise that their theme park will be suited to the historic character of the dockyard community. One proposal, by PortSide NewYork, includes cafes, a maritime-themed shop and two salvaged, historic ships where students and tourists would learn about waterfront trade.

    “There is space in Red Hook for a hinge between the world of recreation … and the world of work, because there is still a thriving industrial waterfront there,” said Elaine Carmichael, a planner on the project.

    Meanwhile, ASI is trying to hold onto its working-port turf.

    “I don’t know if the city is trying to kill maritime industry in Brooklyn, but this plan will certainly hurt it,” said Edward Kelly, president of the Maritime Association, which represents 400 maritime businesses, including ASI.

    “It’s fairly obvious that forcing one of the last port operators to leave will do irreparable harm.”

  2. #62
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Jersey City

    Exclamation The cranes are coming....

    Well Port Newark, Port Elizabeth, and Port Jersey better get ready to make more room for more cranes, people, jobs, and ships.

  3. #63


    Anyone have any pictures of this scheme?

    The container port ain't much.

  4. #64
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Recent articles from the NY Observer ...

    Public Meeting for Piers

    Matthew Grace
    October 12, 2006

    The New York City Economic Development Corporation will hold a scoping meeting tonight at the Long Island College Hospital at 6 p.m. for the planned development on Piers 7 through 12 on the Carroll Gardens and Red Hook waterfront. The E.D.C. has some grand plans for the development -- from parks to housing and waterfront access.

    Critics of the plan point out that it doesn't provide any additional housing in Red Hook -- instead it will generate more traffic, which is a bone of contention that Red Hookers have been pleading to the city about for months. (Readers of this blog will rememember our coverage of a Fairway-related traffic fatality earlier this year and the D.O.T.'s seeming complacency.)

    It's a guaranteed packed house; emotions are sure to run high! Turn off that damn TV and show up. It's better than Lost!


    On the Waterfront
    Matthew Grace
    October 13, 2006

    Representative Jerry Nadler came out swinging last night at the scoping meeting for the New York Economic Development Corporation's planned redevelopment for Piers 7 through 10 on the Carroll Gardens / Red Hook Waterfront. Mr. Nadler opposed the transformation of Pier 10 -- currently used for maritime shipping -- into a second cruise-ship terminal and 250-room hotel.

    Citing the vulnerability of the Kill Van Kull -- which connects Newark Bay and the Upper New York Bay and is the principal access for container ships to the Port Newark-Elizabeth Marine Terminal, the 15th-busiest port in the world -- Mr. Nadler said that the shipping operations must continue in Brooklyn. "The Kill Van Kull is too narrow and shallow for the [metropolitan] area to depend on it," Mr. Nadler said, noting that if by accident or terrorism a ship sunk in the narrow straight, the economy of the region would be seriously affected. The Red Hook piers would be needed if any traffic to New Jersey is disrupted.

    Mr. Nadler also emphasized the importance of retaining blue-collar jobs in the area, calling the redevelopment a "mad vision of New York where there are as few blue-collar jobs as possible" to thunderous applause from the audience of area residents, business owners and union workers from the nearby docks.

    Matt Yates, the director of American Group RHCT, echoed Mr. Nadler's sentiments, saying that the city is failing to fully appreciate the effects of a port closure. "This is a quick and dirty process where the Republican administration wants to wrest control of public property." The land is question is owned by the Port Authority, a state agency, and is leased out to American Stevedoring.

    Shortly after Mr. Yates spoke, E.D.C. vice president Kate Ascher left the meeting--before area residents could address her.

    The E.D.C.'s plan includes 350 units of housing on the west side of Columbia Street between Atlantic Avenue and Degraw Street. Reactions from area residents were mixed; while most agreed that more housing was desirable, there was concern that the units would be market-rate, and that current views from Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens would be blocked. Several speakers, including John McGettrick of the Red Hook Civic Association, noted that Red Hook, across the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel to the south, is in desperate need of new housing and residential buildings should be developed there.

    Other speakers at the meeting insisted that the E.D.C. try to develop a plan that would not decrease the number of waterfront jobs. The plan currently would allow Piers 7 through 9 to continue shipping operations.

    Mr. Yates, outside the meeting, expressed confidence that the development plan would ultimately stall. "It's bound to fail," he said, noting that with the probable election of state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to the Governorship later this year, the P.A. would quit "dancing to the development whims of the Mayor."

    The E.D.C. hopes to begin the land-use review process later this year, with a vote from the City Council by next summer. Land acquisition would follow shortly thereafter.

    Key from the E.D.C..'s draft E.I.S.:

    Parcel A: This approximately 49-acre parcel would be dedicated entirely to marine terminal and industrial/manufacturing uses. It is anticipated that Pier 7 would include a brewery, and an associated 40,000 sf beer garden. Piers 8, 9A and 9B would be utilized for warehouse/distribution, a general cargo pier for containers and break bulk cargo and other similar uses. The uses on this parcel would be predominantly maritime in nature, with warehousing and shipment functions. The approximately 623,200 sf of floor area in the three existing pier sheds are assumed to be re-used for these uses, while the remainder of the lot area is assumed to continue being utilized by marine terminal/container/storage activity.
    Parcel B: Passenger cruise ship terminal on Pier 10, as well as an approximately 250-room hotel with approximately 40,000 sf of conference/meeting facilities, and approximately 2 acres of open space are assumed to occupy this parcel.
    Parcel C: For this parcel, the RWCDS assumes approximately 71,400 sf of light industrial, warehousing and office uses.
    Parcel D: For analysis purposes, this small parcel is assumed to be occupied by space for artists and galleries, with an estimated 24,000 sf.
    Parcel E: As shown in Table 1, the RWCDS assumptions for this parcel consist of approximately 34,700 sf of retail uses, and a total of 152,400 sf of light industrial, warehousing and office uses.
    Parcel F: This parcel is assumed to be occupied by up to approximately 147,200 sf of light industrial and warehousing uses.
    Parcel G: This parcel, which is the only parcel located directly on Atlantic Basin, would accommodate a variety of uses that would create a Dynamic Maritime Marketplace concept, including retail, markets, restaurants, performing arts, education (a 25,000 sf trade school), arts and crafts, light industrial, office, maritime (marine services, ship repair, fueling, boat lift, ferry, etc), recreation, a marina with up to 200 slips, and open space uses. Some of those uses would re-use the existing 168,000 sf shed on Pier 11.
    Parcels H and I: These two small parcels, located at the back of two existing buildings on Imlay Street, are assumed to accommodate cafes/restaurants.
    Parcel J: This parcel is assumed to be occupied by approximately 50,400 sf of retail, and up to 96,800 sf of light industrial/warehousing uses.
    Parcel K: Artists studios, arts and crafts, retail, restaurant, office and maritime uses are assumed to occupy this parcel, totaling up to approximately 177,100 sf.
    Parcel K: Artists studios, arts and crafts, retail, restaurant, office and maritime uses are assumed to occupy this parcel, totaling up to approximately 177,100 sf.
    Parcel L: This parcel is occupied by the new cruise ship terminal on Pier 12, and would remain unchanged under future With-Action conditions.
    Parcel M: The RWCDS assumes that the two existing office buildings between Kane and Warren Streets, which are currently occupied by offices for the Port Authority and the Waterfront Commission, would remain. These offices are estimated to consist of approximately 61,700 sf. The remainder of the parcel is assumed to be developed with approximately 37,700 sf of ground floor retail and approximately 350 dwelling units (assuming 1,000 gsf per unit).
    copyright © 2006 the new york observer, L.P.

  5. #65
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    curbed has some stories:

    Some more info here:

    A pdf with all sorts of schemes (beyond just Red Hook):

    Courtesy Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
    The proposed path of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative would span 14 miles
    of waterfront and transverse many varied neighborhoods.

  6. #66
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    A Place That Matters: Red Hook Graving Dock
    October 17, 2006

    In an effort to advocate for "places in New York City that preserve history and sustain culture," the Municipal Art Society , in partnership with organization called City Lore, publishes a website called Readers are invited to nominate locations that they think fit the description.

    This week, for example, the Red Hook Graving Dock — currently on the verge of being demolished to make way for the IKEA parking lot — gets special attention, having been submitted by Mary Habstritt:
    As of October, 2006, Graving Dock No. 1 is the only structure still standing to remind us of the mighty Todd Shipyards Corporation, once a nationwide company, birthed in Erie Basin. All the shipyard buildings have been demolished as part of developing the site for an IKEA store. Once one of the largest dry docks in the world, it is a symbol of Red Hook's long maritime history, of technological innovation, and of New York's contributions to national war efforts. It is a place where ships could still be repaired and it is part of what makes Brooklyn unique. It is a place that makes New York a place, different from all others.
    There's lots of historical info about the Graving Dock on the Place Matters site. Our only gripe: Too much Flash technology for our tastes. It's easier to read about on the MAS site.

    Week 13: Red Hook Graving Dock [MAS]

  7. #67


    Can't see that IKEA store as anything but a mistake.

    They should have put it somewhere in Manhattan in a large-footprint, multi-story building with exactly zero parking, and provided a delivery service.

  8. #68




    December 8, 2006 -- The iconic Revere Sugar Refinery - whose domed rooftop has defined Brooklyn's Red Hook waterfront for a century - could be demolished as early as today by a developer hoping to bring luxury housing to the gritty waterfront area, The Post has learned.

    The property's owner, Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities, received a Buildings Department demolition permit for the rusting, long-vacant refinery on Tuesday, records show.

    Thor did not return phone messages yesterday, but bulldozers were spotted along the 6-acre Erie Basin site nestled between the new Fairway supermarket and a planned IKEA.

    Sitt - best known for his $2 billion redevelopment plan for Coney Island - is set to knock down the refinery and seek city approval to build luxury apartments, stores and a seafood restaurant on property zoned for industrial use.

    The plan has come under fire from members of Red Hook's industrial business community, who believe housing is a bad fit near a working port. New York Water Taxi President Tom Fox, who docks his eight water taxis there, said he and some of his neighbors plan to testify before a City Council subcommittee next week that Thor's proposal "is like blockbusting" that will further drive away what little is left of the Big Apple's maritime industry.

    But John McGettrick, co-chairman of the Red Hook Civic Alliance, said he would support shops and housing at the site, provided some affordable housing is included.

  9. #69


    This is amazingly frustrating. An Ikea store and more "luxury" glass boxes, to replace something that gave NY character and NYers a true function and purpose?!? Just another place for us to import products and create jobs where workers will gain no true skills or have pride in the product that they are producing. What a contrast to go from building ships to win a war effort and now just stocking shelves with products from abroad. What a sad transformation for our city and a bleek scenario for our country.

    Politicians are worthless. Best of luck to the local people and organizations fighting this destruction of NY's character and future.

  10. #70

    Default Sugar Refinery

    Some exceptional photos of the sugar refinery.

  11. #71


    This is one of New York's monuments. It's beautiful and interesting because it's complex, decrepit and dangerous.

    So, how can it be kept?

  12. #72
    I admit I have a problem
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    North Koreatown


    The Gowanus Lounge reimagines Revere Sugar as our answer to Germany's amazing Landschaftspark

    "It's a former industrial wasteland (a couple of photos below) that the Germans transformed into a wildly popular park and tourist destination. Duisburg is in the Ruhr near Dusseldorf. It features acres of natural greenery. The old factory buildings house musical performances and art exhibits. Former ore silos have rock climbing walls. There's an old blast furnace that's been turned into an observation deck and more. At night, the old industrial structures are bathed in colored light."

    But are we too late to save Revere Sugar?

    (Landschaftspark pix from Flickr photostream)
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  13. #73
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    As with 50 Trinity Place (and any other number of terrific old structures) we're all 3 steps behind in trying to save them -- once DOB issues the dreaded Demolition Permit it's a done deal

  14. #74


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    As with 50 Trinity Place (and any other number of terrific old structures) we're all 3 steps behind in trying to save them -- once DOB issues the dreaded Demolition Permit it's a done deal
    So, lofter, since you find them when the permits are issued, can you also find them when they're applied for? That way we could make a stink in time.

  15. #75

    Default World View

    Quote Originally Posted by 212 View Post
    But are we too late to save Revere Sugar?

    The way I see it - something similar to the German 'Duisburg' project would have been a great use for the factory: opportunity cost once again.
    Last edited by infoshare; December 11th, 2006 at 05:50 PM. Reason: typo

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