Red Hook Pier Is for Shipping, Not Shopping

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We learned a couple of weeks ago that the city’s Economic Development Corporation had rejected the various proposals to reinvent Red Hook’s Pier 11: no marina for luxury yachts, no hotel and entertainment complex, no public beach. So what, then? Here’s a novel idea: a working waterfront. The NY Times reports that the Bloomberg administration prefers to expand the maritime industry from Red Hook down to Sunset Park. “Where a developer once hoped to build a fancy marina, the city now plans to install a beer and wine importer. Nearby, a cement company has opened a shipping terminal. The container port at the north end of Red Hook is planning to expand. And the city expects to sign a deal to open an automobile shipping and storage operation at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.” The economy is partly responsible for the shift &#8212 certainly we need real jobs more than we need parking spots for luxury yachts (the cruise ship terminal at Pier 12 creating only 60 full time jobs, not the 600 they’d forecasted), and there’s been plenty of political pressure to keep Red Hook as a working port instead of a mall. There’s an environmental benefit perhaps, too: fewer trucks driving goods to Brooklyn if they can arrive by boat, instead. Still plenty of tug-of-wars going on in the area, though. Some are not happy with current vision of moving Phoenix Beverages to Pier 11 from its current home in Long Island City, including developer Douglas Durst, whose plan included “a home base for his ferry company, New York Water Taxi; ship maintenance and repair shops; a fuel barge; marina; esplanade; and ferry link to Governors Island.” More on the tussles here.
For Reinvention, Red Hook Follows Its Roots [NY Times]
Photo by CheeseNPickles.

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