From the department of interesting timing: A few days after departing Port Authority chief Chris Ward gives a speech in which he says the Red Hook container terminal should be moved to Sunset Park, there’s news the terminal’s longtime operator was quietly removed from its post on the waterfront late last month. The Red Hook Star Revue reports in its latest issue (PDF here) that American Stevedoring, which has run the pier operations since the early ’90s, is no longer in charge at the container terminal. American Stevedoring and the Port Authority locked horns several years ago because the city was intent on redeveloping Piers 7-12 with housing and restaurants. Following drawn-out, contentious negotiations, the company signed a 10-year lease in 2008 to stay put, killing the redevelopment dreams. The Star Revue reports that American Stevedoring hadn’t paid its rent since the lease renewal and filed a lawsuit against the Port Authority last year, but it’s not exactly clear why/how the company was ousted from the piers: “Rumor on the street is that the Port Authority finally obtained an eviction notice against ASI early in the morning of the 26th, but that has not been confirmed. Another rumor is that a deal was struck with ASI forgiving the back rent and other debts, but that too cannot be confirmed at this time.” What the change signals for the future of container shipping on the piers has yet to be revealed. For the time being an interim operator is in place, and Congressman Jerry Nadler says the shipping operations aren’t going anywhere.
American Stevedoring Gone From Red Hook Terminal [Red Hook Star Revue; PDF]