2018 PortSide expands ashore!

This blog post is updated over 2018 as we make progress!

Rendering by ae superlab

Rendering by ae superlab

Business plan to expand into warehouse adjacent to MARY A. WHALEN

PortSide is working on the following 2018 schedule to deliver a business plan to the NYC EDC.

8/10/18 Business plan due (and submitted)
9/11/18 EDC replies with questions (received)
10/10/18 PortSide responses to EDC questions are due (and submitted)
Early December PortSide presents a revised business plan to the EDC during a walkabout of the site

Post-Thanksgiving update: Here’s a big way to help that’s easy to do! Send an email to chiclet@portsidenewyork.org saying why you admire PortSide, why you think we should have this building space to expand. Thanks!

an early iteration of one space configuration we explored. the shape we are now studying looks like the drawing at bottom

an early iteration of one space configuration we explored. the shape we are now studying looks like the drawing at bottom

In 2018, PortSide NewYork has a means to fulfill our long-standing vision of creating a dynamic, future-focused maritime center that combines working waterfront, public access and community development and connects New Yorkers, especially the underserved, to the benefits of their waterfront. That is building space that will enable year-round and foul-weather programming, and program growth. This will make PortSide a better asset for all sectors of the Red Hook community, an amenity to users of NYC Ferry and Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, and visiting New Yorkers and tourists.  

We are working with architects and designers from Civic Architecture Workshop in Gowanus and AE Superlab in Red Hook.

Backstory: For long-time followers of PortSide, yes, this is the space that the EDC promised us years ago.  The space is inside the Pier 11 warehouse in Atlantic Basin, Red Hook, Brooklyn next to our ship MARY A. WHALEN.  We have been pushing to get this building space since the ship returned here summer 2015 thanks to the strong support of Councilman Carlos Menchaca with additional support by many elected officials in this district and beyond.  November 2017,  the then-new President of the NYC EDC James Patchett offered PortSide a way to get the previously-promised building space   Patchett asked us to create a new business plan, he said "our goal is to see you succeed."  We are working on that plan. It was due and submitted August 10, 2018. We’re in the follow-up rounds now.

Goals for the site: This space will finally allow PortSide to transition from a pop-up offering mostly special events to an place offering year-round programs and programs with enrollment. There is not enough space inside the MARY A. WHALEN for those kinds of programs, and the ship deck is unusable when it’s raining, winter or too hot in summer. In our planned building space, the working waterfront and creative Brooklyn meet. It’s a homeport and community center that serves our immediate neighborhood and is a magnet for visitors by land and sea.  PortSide will expand and offer youth programs, more school programs, and a pipeline to marine careers, Here, you will come in contact with authentic maritime activities and experience and related “WaterStories” cultural programs that illuminate waterfront issues and history via film screenings, book readings, and talks year-round, not just in summer on the deck of the MARY A. WHALEN.  We will display our til-now collection of Red Hook artifacts, the physical companion to our e-museum Red Hook WaterStories.  Maritime classroom training and a boatbuilding shop are all in the plans. We will also grow our visiting vessels program; summer 2018, the historic ship AMISTAD visited two times.

architectural plan by civic architecture workshop. ship maintenance layout by coastwise marine design

architectural plan by civic architecture workshop. ship maintenance layout by coastwise marine design

News! Thanksgiving week, we were offered the donation of 8 boats (5 Solings, 2 cruising sailboats, a motorboat chase boat) to start a Community Sailing program. The boats could be brought inside the warehouse portion of the space within the building for winter maintenance - a great community activity! Download the flyer here.

We are currently assessing if there is community interest (so far, yes, a lot!) and then would need to find a waterspace to do this (Atlantic Basin is not such a place).

Last would be to determine if this is a program run by PortSide, an affiliated non-profit or what. Please email chiclet@portsidenewyork.org if you want to help make this happen.



We conducted surveys during the summer before the 8/10/18 deadline to submit the business plan.

Members of the general public please take this survey. Teachers, educators, school administrators, please take this survey. Answers due July 20

See this powerpoint for an overview of our goals, history, and this space. 

planning discussion as of 1st week of November 2018, showing south end of the Pier 11 warehouse. Our ship MARY A. WHALEN is currently docked to the west/left of this.

planning discussion as of 1st week of November 2018, showing south end of the Pier 11 warehouse. Our ship MARY A. WHALEN is currently docked to the west/left of this.

How to get involved

Send an email to chiclet@portsidenewyork.org saying why you admire PortSide, why you think we should have this building space to expand.

Help with outreach (analog and digital).  Red Hook likes outreach face to face and via flyers in store windows. We have stakeholders around NYC and harbor to contact, and people can help with that networking to interesting people.

You can donate, advise, join our board.  Help help run a fundraiser.

In the next phase, we will need contractors and people with trade skills to rehab the space.

Thanks!