What’s in store for Brooklyn
A hue-and-cry arose when Ikea, the furniture superstore, announced plans for an outlet on Brooklyn’s Red Hook waterfront. What a nightmare this would be for the “community”!
No matter. Ikea persisted, eventually overcoming obstacles that drive businesses like big supermarkets out of New York and prevent major operations from setting up shop. And now, the store’s opening, scheduled for June 18, is drawing intense enthusiasm.
The company’s game plan could serve as a model for would-be developers. Most importantly, Ikea invested $500,000 in a job-preparation center in the Red Hook housing projects and gave locals a head start on applying for work. They have snagged 200 of the 350 positions filled so far.
At the same time, the company designed a building that meets international environmental standards, included a 450-seat restaurant with harbor views and created a 6.5-acre waterfront esplanade. Shuttle buses will run to and from several Brooklyn subway stops. There will be free water taxis between Red Hook and lower Manhattan.
Jobs, greater shopping opportunity and a stunning park. Some nightmare.