Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Red Hook Will Be Prime Competitor in 2007 Brooklyn Development Slugfest

November 27th, 2006 · No Comments


If you’re looking for one of the Top Five Ugliest Development Battles of 2007 in Brooklyn, look no further than Red Hook. We’re not talking about Ikea’s big box on the waterfront or, even, Thor Equities plans for the former Revere Sugar plant with its iconic dome. We are referring to the city’s plan for the redevelopment of Piers 7-12 in Red Hook. The overall scale of the project is huge, impacting 120 acres and 1.1 miles of waterfront. And the looming fight over “Parcel M” along Columbia Street demonstrates the potential this fight has for making Atlantic Yards struggle seem like an Afternoon Tea.

Think we’re overstating? Make sure to read the Carroll Gardens Courier’s coverage of a recent Community Board 6 meeting. (Also make sure to check out B61 Productions ongoing coverage of the Red Hook Piers debate if you’re trying to make sense of what is being proposed.) We’ll just hit a couple of highlights that capture the flavor:

At a joint meeting of Community Board 6’s Transportation/Economic/Landmarks committees at Long Island College Hospital, the ‘M’ stood for a misguided attempt by the city to force residential development, and a plan that is generating mistrust. For residents demanding more parkland and less residential development, the city’s nearly year-long effort to gather consensus and get a sense of what kinds of projects should proceed along the Red Hook waterfront has amounted to little more than a charade.

The city, led by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC), insisted that it was simply gathering information that will inform the creation of a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), which will examine the consequences of development on the 1.1 mile, 120-acre site.

Along with new housing along the western side of Columbia Street, the project could see sweeping changes along the entirety of Red Hook’s waterfront, including the arrival of a hotel, brewery, offices, another passenger cruise ship terminal, restaurants, retail stores and artist studios.

To grossly oversimplify, in the Columbia Street area, one of the big fault lines is preserving open space and views of Manhattan versus plans to build housing and other structures that would create a wall of buildings that would block many views of Manhattan and the harbor.

Definitely look for Red Hook to claim its rightful place in 2007 in the slugfest that is Brooklyn development.

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