Red Hook concrete plant
Just when it looked like Red Hook had shed its image as a gritty manufacturing hub, residents now are bracing for a return to the waterfront neighborhood’s industrial past.
A huge concrete plant is set to rise directly across from the one-year-old Ikea store as early as July, stoking fears of noisy cement trucks and added traffic and pollution.
“This stifles the revitalization of Red Hook,” said Community Board 6 member and Red Hook resident Lou Sones, who noted that the plant will be built adjacent to a park and one of the city’s largest urban farms.
“It’s not just a place to dump stuff and put things with noxious uses.”
The plant, which is being built by Texas-based U.S. Concrete, would produce up to 1,000 cubic feet of concrete a day and require as many as two dozen cement mixers, said U.S Concrete regional Vice President Michael Gentoso.
The plant, which will include several silos where the concrete will be stored, as well as bin compartments for raw materials such as stone and sand, will be among the most environmentally friendly in the city, Gentoso said.
“It has a lower carbon footprint than most of the concrete being made today,” said Gentoso, who insisted that the “ready-mix” trucks he uses already are common in the area, thanks to several other concrete plants operating nearby.
Still, residents noted that with the addition of Ikea, the farm Added Value and other revitalization efforts, moving a large concrete plant into the neighborhood is not as appealing as it would have been a decade ago.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s appropriate, since it’s an area they’re putting energy into making safe and clean,” said Jeanene Winston, 29, who was walking near the Columbia St. lot where the plant is expected to be built. “It’s like a step backwards.”
Green space design consultant Maura Lout, who works with local Red Hook organizations, was cautious about the arrival of their new neighbor.
“We’ll have to wait and see,” said Lout, 34. “We were nervous about Ikea, but it didn’t turn out as bad as we thought.
“There are certain environmental and social costs that will be felt here, but it also means more jobs.”
BY Gleb Wilson and Jotham Sederstrom