“We anticipate that the final transfer will occur later this year,” Port Authority Executive Director Anthony Shorris said in a statement.
Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman likened the agreement that was signed between the two entities to a contract on a house, as opposed to an actual closing.
Still, it does seem like the city has advanced its cause considerably since Mr. Shorris told reporters three weeks ago he was “looking at what should happen.”
Democratic lawmakers had been pushing Mr. Shorris to hold off on the transfer since the city would move, or maybe even eliminate, the Red Hook container port in favor of a mixed-use, marine-dependent development.
And what a development that will be. Ever considered how highly hops figure into the Economic Development Corporation’s plans for the piers? a A brewery, a beer garden and a beer distributorship are all in the cards.
Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, who signed the agreement, did a good job of negotiating. For one, the transfer is off if the city fails to change the zoning on the area to permit these new uses. For another, the city will get the piers for a pretty decent price ($1). If the city is not able to cover the costs of maintaining the piers with lease payments from their users, it will be able to draw down on a fund, set at “up to $75 million,” that the Port Authority will put forth.
Why? The memorandum of understanding cites a consultant’s study that found that the Port Authority would have to spend $130 million over the next 25 years on maintenance otherwise.
– Matthew Schuerman