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)


            PortSide taped this meeting and       provides the following transcripts:
            Intro       and EDC presentation
      New       York Water Taxi presentation
            PortSide NewYork presentation


    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    so the site is no longer on line.

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       

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       

Piers         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.

            Related EDC documents:
                                    Positive Declaration and Scoping             Notice (09/2006) (pdf)
                                    Environmental Assessment Statement             (09/2006) (pdf)
                        Draft Scope of Work (09/2006) (pdf)

            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)

            comment period is now closed.

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               
            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
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)

                        CB6                            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               


Glossary of planning terms:                           


How to read a zoning map                                       


Zoning Handbook ($25)               


PlanNYC, planning news and             info.  A service of the                         Furman Center for Real Estate             and Urban Policy at New York University                  See page