Brooklyn waterfront in port authority’s hands
The Red Hook portion of the Brooklyn waterfront will remain in the hands of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Richard Larrabee, head of the port authority's Port Department, said a plan to transfer Piers 7-12 in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn to New York City, first approved by the port authority’s board in December 2005, will not take place.
He said the city told the port authority one month ago it did not want all the property. It will continue to lease Pier 12 for a cruise terminal.
“We are back to square one,” Larrabee said. “We need to look for a viable use of the property,” noting that the port authority would continue to work closely with the city.
Robert Lieber, president of the New York City Economic Development Corp., said the city would still like cargo operations on the Brooklyn waterfront, noting the large population of Long Island of which Brooklyn and Queens are part.
Even though the Brooklyn terminals have limited upland area for stacking containers, Lieber noted that as technology improves it has become possible to handle larger volumes of containers in smaller areas.
The major cargo operator at Red Hook is American Stevedoring Inc., which has been in a tenant-landlord tenant dispute with the port authority. The bi-state authority said last week it was owed $1 million in back rent.
But last week 21 New York politicians, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, and New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, urged the port authority to award American Stevedoring a 10-year lease renewal.
Larrabee and Lieber were both speakers at a Port Industry Day conference that was held in Jersey City.
Larrabee noted that the port would see cargo increases in the range of 5 percent to 7 percent over the next decade. In 2006 the Port of New York and New Jersey handled 55 million tons of bulk cargo and 31 million tons of general cargo, including more than 5 million TEUs of containers, both loaded and empty.