Brooklyn's Atlantic Basin &the Economic Development Corporation of NYC
City plans for Atlantic Basin, Red Hook - stalled in 2007, reactivated late 2008, finalized spring 2009.
Atlantic Basin is a rare, maritime asset: a man-made protected body of water. The term "Atlantic Basin" currently refers to an area that includes that waterspace, three large sheds (Pier 11, Pier 12 and Building 185) and a lot of connecting asphalt. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on pier 12 is part of the complex. Atlantic Basin, along with Piers 6-10 have been the subject of a rollercoaster planning process since early 2003.
2009 Atlantic Basin planning process:
Brooklyn CB6 Economic & Waterfront Development Committee
- Mon 3/16/26/09 6:30pm - rescheduled from February
PS 15, Sullivan Street, Red Hook
Representatives of the EDC and Port Authority will speak on the plans for Phoenix Beverage and the issues it has raised.
Brooklyn CB6 6 Economic & Waterfront Development Committee
Public Meeting About Plans For Atlantic Basin.
Monday 1/5/09, 6:30pm Presenters at the meeting:
EDC (first public presentation of their new plans for Atlantic Basin)
New York Water Taxi (presenting NYWT/Durst Org master plan for Atlantic Basin that was rejected but which they want reconsidered.)
PortSide NewYork (general update and description of what our Atlantic Basin programs would be)
Recent events pertaining to "Atlantic Basin" alone:
- late 2005: American Stevedoring evicted from Atlantic Basin.
- Spring 2006: Brooklyn Cruise Terminal opens
- September 2006: the EDC issues an RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest) for Atlantic Basin.
- February 2007: the EDC issues an RFP (Request for Proposals) for Atlantic Basin. Note: PortSide responded to the RFEI and RFP.
- Summer 2007: media reports that the RFP plans are dead.
- Spring 2008 American Stevedoring gets a 10 year lease from the Port Authority for piers 7-10.
- Late summer 2008: a new round of news stories about the basin comes out after RFP rejection letters are received by many. PortSide does not receive a rejection letter.
- December 2008 PortSide throws the Mary Whalen's 70th birthday party in Atlantic Basin after the EDC arranges access. Some 500 attend. Press release
- A real estate deal struck by Phoenix, ASI, the Port Authority, and Jerry Nadler's office is announced in the NY Times on 2/10/09
Archival information from 2006: (note CB6 could not afford the webhosting fees for www.waterfrontmatters.org so the site is no longer on line.
CHANGING THE RED HOOK WATERFRONT
Text by Carolina Salguero. Editing, and background on the ULURP process and terminology by Craig Hammerman, CB6 District Manager.
See links to planning and zoning glossary and other info at bottom.
ULURP timetable/process flow chart click
download map at right click
Note: December 20, 2006 the EDC launched a new website. Some of the links below may now be dead.
The Economic Development Corporation (the EDC) is a non-profit corporation charged with creating and executing many of the city's major economic plans. As the EDC is not a department of city government, it is sometimes represented by the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), for example as host of the Piers 7-12 Scoping Meeting on 10/12/06.
The EDC is now re-studying Piers 7-12 after completing a Piers 6-12 Study in 2004. Their web page for 7-12 includes Powerpoints from prior presentations to Community Board 6, plus new documents.
Piers 6-12 Study
Recently, the city (represented by the EDC) in conjunction with the Port Authority (PANYNJ), did a study of the piers 6-12 area, often referred to as the Red Hook Containerport, e.g. the piers from just south of Atlantic Avenue (Pier 6) to about Wolcott Street in Red Hook (Pier 12). The “6-12 Study” was announced in December 2002 and released spring of 2004. Carolina Salguero and Allison Prete launched a website for CB6 that covered this study www.waterfrontmatters.org.
The city was not happy with the final study and tried to NOT release the study to the public. They never made digital copies available to the public. Hardcopies are located at PortSide and the CB6 office. One result of that study was that Pier 6 was pulled out of the mix and allocated to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The study catchment area then became piers 7-12.
Cruise Terminal Study
Subsequent to the 6-12 Study, there was a Cruise Terminal study and plan that led to the arrival of cruise ships in Brooklyn. That process was also covered by www.waterfrontmatters.org.
7-12 deciphering the alphabet soup
A combination of federal, state and city law and regulation govern the Piers 7-12 planning process. The ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure) is mandated by city law at Section 197 of the City Charter. A ULURP action may require the preparation of an EIS (environmental impact statement) if it is determined that the action may have a significant impact. The EIS format is determined by state and city regulations, pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). As a first step in the development of an EIS, a Scope of Analysis is prepared which suggests an outline of tasks to be performed as part of the EIS. The Scope is released and subject to public review and comment. (This is what happened on October 12, 2006.)
Piers 7-12 timeline
The EDC has their eye on April 2007, the date that American Stevedoring's lease with the Port Authority expires. At that time, the EDC expects the Port Authority to hand over control to piers that the Port Authority had leased from the city (and in turn leased to American Stevedoring). The EDC is pushing to do the full ULURP process before April 2007, so that the city can move ahead with redevelopment plans as soon as possible after that date. The transfer of ownership, and other possible related actions such as potential rezoning, change of uses, etc. would need to be approved before any redevelopment can take place. American Stevedoring has not given up the fight and has made no noises about moving, and the city has made no noises about finding ASI a home elsewhere.
In November 2005, Kate Ascher, Executive Vice President, Infrastructure of the EDC, announced that the Atlantic Basin area would be replanned.
April 2006, a public workshop was held to gather ideas. Summer of 2006, an RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest) was announced with a deadline of September 1. The EDC set no date for announcing results of the RFEI and said an RFP (Request for Proposals) could be announced after the RFEI. Note: PortSide NewYork submitted a response to the RFEI, requesting waterspace for ship berths and space inland to include a waterfront museum, youth programs, our office space, a bait and tackle shop, cafe and other retail oriented towards local needs.
Spring 2008 American Stevedoring gets a 10 year lease on piers 7-10. ASI's facility has been reduced since the last lease as Pier 6 has been given to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Atlantic Basin has been taken away from them.
Prior EDC Presentations:
Community Board 6 Presentation (08/28/2006) (pdf)
Community Board 6 Presentation (06/19/2006) (pdf)
Community Board 6 Presentation (04/03/2006) (pdf)
Public Workshop Comments (04/03/2006) (pdf)
Community Board 6 Presentation (11/28/2005) (pdf)
Calendar of meetings/hearings:
The CB6 Economic and Waterfront Development Committee (CB6 E/W) usually meets the first Monday of every month. CB6 E/W is always involved in waterfront issues, though other committees sometimes co-host meetings.
CB6 E/W schedule is changing often in 2006 due to the EDC schedule on piers 7-12 planning.
Meetings hosted by CB6 are on their calendar webpage http://www.brooklyncb6.org/calendar
When other parties (EDC, SBS, etc) run the meeting/hearing, it is listed on the CB6 website page announcements.
12/14/06 City Council Hearing
preceded by press conference/demo:
12:00 the Land Use Subcommittee Landmarks, Public Siting, Maritime Uses was joined by the Committee on Waterfront for an oversight hearing "South Brooklyn Working Waterfront." Courtroom drama tension was brought to a City Council hearing that ran over three hours. The EDC unfurled plans, never before seen, for the Red Hook and Sunset Park waterfront; council leaders were skeptical even prosecutorial, expert witnesses even more so. Most media were long gone, having merely stopped by for photo op and sound bytes of the pro-containerport demo on City Hall steps before the hearing, so read the transcript for yourself. click
11/20/06 6:30pm at LICH, Long Island Community Hospital. CB6 Economic/Landmarks/Transportation committees. Continued discussion with the EDC about Piers 7-12, with specific emphasis on the development of the westside of Columbia Street between Warren and Degraw (known as Parcel M) aka the mirroring or housing parcel on Columbia Street.
10/12/06 at LICH, Long Island Community Hospital. The city, as represented by SBS, hosts a Scoping Session on the proposed scope of the analysis of the DEIS.
We post all comments that were submitted to the Scope of Analysis of the DEIS. Please send them to mail (at) portsidenewyork.org
comments on Scope of Analysis
Community Consulting Services comments on Scope
Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance comments on Scope
Municipal Art Society comments on Scope
Society of Industrial Archeology, Roebling Chapter, comments on Scope
10/12/06 6:30pm at LICH. The EDC hosts a Scoping Session on the proposed scope of the analysis of the DEIS. Sign in will be required. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes. There is usually a comment period of 10 days after the Scoping Session when written comments of any length can be submitted.
9/28/06 CB6 hosts a meeting by several committees (Landmarks/Land Use, Economic Development/Waterfront, and Transportation) to get public commentary to inform CB6's statement at the Scoping Hearing as part of the new Study of Piers 7-12.
9/1/06 Atlantic Basin RFEI responses due.
2/07 Atlantic Basin RFP responses due.
Related EDC news:
From summer to fall 2006, The EDC launched a noteworthy number of major initiatives that pertain to the waterfront and especially the waterfront near Red Hook (Upper Bay and East River). The dates below are the dates the RFP or the position was announced on their website. In the planning world, RFP's that run on a short timetable are a way to narrow the field of applicants (few firms can meet the requirements of a complex proposal on a short timeframe) or suggest that a vendor has likely been pre-identified and is prepped to respond.
The EDC has a new website as of 12/20/06. The new EDC careers page no longer lists the waterfront related positions below. We have asked them whether the positions were filled or withdrawn. Once we have an answer, we'll update this page.
6/5/07 The EDC has issued a 94 page RFP to find an event manager to solicit, market and coordinate both commercial and not-for-profit/community events at the Red Hook Cruise terminal when cruise ships are not in. Responses due by July 13, 2007. Download RFP click
No official word on results of the Atlantic Basin RFEI and RFP processes (disclosure: PortSide submitted proposals to both), though local papers have reported that Pier 11 will be made available to Phoenix Beverages.
7/18/06 The EDC is seeking a Harbor District Director a new position. The job description says "the Harbor District will become a unique recreational and tourist destination, featuring a range of distinct but linked sites." Those sites include parts of the Red Hook waterfront and nearby Governor's Island. January 2008, Paula Berry is appointed the first Harbor District Director.
9/25/06 The EDC is running a speedy RFP about East River Ferry Services (deadline 11/6/06). It's focus is on new ferry services to support "residential and commercial development in emerging waterfront areas in Brooklyn and Queens, provide an additional (and faster) alternative to those who commute to Midtown and Lower Manhattan from East River waterfront neighborhoods that are not well served by existing transit systems, accommodate potential growth in ferry traffic, support the revitalization of Lower Manhattan, provide additional capacity in major commuting “corridors” in which existing transit systems are already seriously overcrowded during peak periods, and increase overall capacity for quickly and flexibly moving people during emergencies."
9/13/06 EDC seeks a new Director of Cruise Operations
10/6/06 The EDC is running a speedy RFP (deadline 11/3/06) to seek a consultant team for a Harbor District Planning and Market Feasibility Study to “undertake a comprehensive programming, land use and transportation analysis and market feasibility study for the Harbor District.” This includes Red Hook's Atlantic Basin.
Intro to planner's alphabet soup:
ULURP, DEIS, MX, R1, M2 what’s it all mean? Here are some resources.
ULURP timetable/process flow chart click
NYS info on SEQRA http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dcs/seqr/index.html
Glossary of planning terms: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/glossary.shtml
How to read a zoning map http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/zone/zh_readmap.shtml
Zoning Handbook ($25) http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/pub/zonehand.shtml