City OKs Red Hook port pact
Red Hook’s working piers have a new lease on life – a 10-year lease, to be precise.
American Stevedoring International, a shipping company, had gone without a lease for a year before the Port Authority approved a renewal Thursday.
“By finally extending this long-term lease, we have saved the only remaining east-of-the-Hudson port in New York and more than 600 jobs,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan) in a statement.
He also said the port was vital for economic development.
“Brooklyn will reclaim its rightful place as a center of shipping activity,” said Matt Yates of American Stevedoring. “This is amazing.”
Since 2005, city officials have pursued a plan to build a second cruise ship terminal, a hotel and a beer garden on the piers.
A city Economic Development Corp. official had said the EDC would make sure the lease was not renewed.
City officials did not return calls for comment before deadline.
“EDC was actively discouraging business,” said Sandy Pope of Teamsters Local 805, who predicted that ships would start steaming into the port now that its future was secure. “I’m ecstatic. We’ve been fighting long and hard for this.”
The existing cruise ship terminal failed to produce the promised number of jobs, the Daily News reported last year.
And opposition from City Council members made approval of the alternate development far from assured.
“For years, the Brooklyn Port has been a vibrant and necessary part of Brooklyn’s economy,” said Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights) in a statement.
“As we grow and the need for jobs and freight increases, it is heartening to know that the port will be around for years to come.”
BY RACHEL MONAHAN