Ikea Responds

Spokesman Jamie Van Bramer e-mailed The Real Estate with this statement from Ikea’s Joseph Roth.

“IKEA’s Brooklyn store underwent an extensive and thorough review under the City’s ULURP process and our plans received virtually unanimous approval at every step. The project that received final approval was developed over the course of more than two years with significant input from residents, community groups and City officials. In fact, IKEA’s innovative plans to include a ‘working waterfront’ barge facility, to expand the public waterfront esplanade and to retain the property’s historic gantry cranes and a portion of the drydock were all the result of public suggestions and input.

“The plans approved by the Community Board, Borough President, City Planning Commission and New York City Council also were always very clear that the drydock would not be maintained in its present form. Further, the Municipal Art Society’s never presented their proposal during the months-long public review process.

“Nonetheless, the IKEA project team did review MAS’s proposal and at the request of Community Board #6, IKEA representatives attended a public meeting last June in Red Hook–after the project had already been approved–to explain its findings to Community Board #6 members and the public. At that meeting, IKEA’s land use counsel, their architect, and their store operations team provided a detailed, point-by-point explanation of the legal, financial and operational reasons why the MAS scheme could not work. Among the most noteworthy was the fact that one of MAS’s proposals would even require IKEA to purchase an additional parcel of land and begin the entire ULURP process again. Clearly, this was not realistic or viable, and our team was clear in their reasoning for rejecting it.

“We look forward to developing the IKEA Brooklyn project–which has earned significant, widespread support throughout Brooklyn and beyond–that was approved last fall by the City of New York.”

-Matthew Grace