NYC to redevelop 122-acre stretch of Brooklyn coastline

May 14, 2024

Image courtesy of the New York City Economic Development Corporation

New York City is transforming a 122-acre stretch of Brooklyn’s coastline into a dynamic, mixed-use community and modern maritime port. Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday announced an agreement that gives the city full control of the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, enabling its redevelopment into a vibrant community hub with housing, retail, green space, and a modern port. The development zone, primarily controlled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, spans over a mile from the southern edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park down to Red Hook, as Bloomberg reported. The deal is the city’s largest real estate transaction in terms of size in 20 years.

Adams unveiled an initial $80 million investment in stabilizing and repairing Piers 7, 8, and 10 at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, along with an additional $15 million to fund a new electrified container crane for operations at Pier 10.

By June, the city’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) will assume management over the terminal, including the responsibility for the five-year extension of Red Hook Container Terminal’s operating agreement. Through this, NYCEDC and the city aim to adapt the terminal to the future of maritime by growing the specialized container business, reducing truck traffic by creating a citywide micro-mobility strategy, and working with local residents to ensure the development features vital community amenities.

The city has applied for over $350 million in federal grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation. This funding aims to transform the terminal into the world’s first modern maritime facility designed for international cargo handling and low-carbon freight movement.

The funding requests focus on replacing the decrepit Piers 9a and 9b with a new pier to increase capacity for international containers and micro-freight. Additionally, plans include improving traffic flow around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and through Red Hook. Over the past decade, NYCEDC has invested over $162 million into Piers 11 and 12.

Hochul also announced a $15 million commitment to creating on-site cold storage facilities at the terminal. The port’s lack of cold storage has influenced a rise in traffic, pollution, and other quality-of-life concerns as perishable merchandise is constantly brought in and out of the borough.

“Today’s announcement marks the next great chapter for Brooklyn’s storied waterfront and is a win for the people of New York City,” Hochul said. “The transfer will allow the City, working in close partnership with the community and my administration, to begin the long-anticipated process of reimagining the Red Hook piers as a modern maritime facility that also serves community needs.”

To spearhead the engagement process for the initiative, the city will assemble a Brooklyn Marine Terminal Taskforce. The process will begin later this spring and engage local elected officials, unions, stakeholders, businesses, workforce development, the local community, and the maritime industry in order to create a shared vision for the area’s future. NYCEDC has reached out to acclaimed design firm WXY to develop a vision for the future port.

The city, state, and Port Authority will sign a memorandum of understanding later this week, outlining the transfer and lease terms. The official transfer is expected to occur in the next few months, according to Bloomberg.

Numerous efforts have been made over the years to redevelop Brooklyn’s waterfront, but none have been particularly successful. Most of Red Hook is isolated, deteriorating, and lacks adequate connections to public transportation.

However, city officials have higher hopes this time around. Instead of being controlled by the city, state, and Porth Authority, the area will be controlled solely by the city.

“For 20 years, skeptics thought this deal couldn’t get done, but our administration prioritized the ‘Harbor of the Future’ and now we have the potential to create thousands of new jobs, generate billions in economic impact, and create a neighborhood on our shoreline that truly displays the promise of New York City,” Adams said.

Adams continued: “By assuming control of the Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Red Hook in our city government’s largest real estate transaction in recent memory, our administration is demonstrating that we will continue to deliver big wins for New Yorkers, day after day.”

The ambitious project is part of Adams’ “Harbor of the Future” initiative, a plan to reimagine the city’s waterfront to drive growth and innovation. The initiative complements Hochul’s commitment to boosting economic growth on state-owned land. The location of the new modern port will be decided based on public input, according to Bloomberg.

In line with Adams’ initiative, the city has also announced it will amend its lease of a 225-acre portion of Staten Island’s Howland Hook Marine Terminal to the Port Authority, giving them operational control of the site.


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