The Brooklyn container shipping port operator that was once in the city’s crosshairs saw its lease approved by the Port Authority’s governing board today, finalizing a victory in a long-fought battle with the Bloomberg administration.
Led by former Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff, the city wanted to replace the port operator, American Stevedoring Inc., with a bustling complex of marine-related industry, a conference center, a hotel, a beer garden, housing and an expanded cruise terminal.
The city argued that the container shipping site, on Piers 7 – 12 in Red Hook, was inefficient in that location—better suited for a place such as Sunset Park.
But as the city prepared to move ahead, American Stevedoring proved a tenacious opponent, lining up elected officials behind their cause and ultimately forcing the city to back down.
Release from the Port Authority below, and further down is one from Rep. Jerry Nadler, who leaned on the city in favor of the container port. [Updated]
Port Authority BOARD TAKES ACTION ON SEVERAL ITEMS
At its monthly meeting this afternoon, the Port Authority Board of Commissioners authorized the following:
· New lease agreements with American Stevedoring Inc., for a 10-year lease for the Red Hook Container Terminal, Piers 7 and 8 at the Brooklyn-Port Authority Marine Terminal and approximately 30 acres in Port Newark, beginning on May 1, 2008, and ending on April 30, 2018;
· Amendments to the terms of the Master Dredging Agreement made on November 1, 1997, with the New York State Empire State Development Corporation to accommodate requests made by the State of New York that approximately $8.1 million in uncommitted funds be allocated to various economic development initiatives at the Brooklyn waterfront as well as rental arrearages of American Stevedoring that are owed to the Port Authority in connection with the leases at Port Authority marine terminal facilities;
· $1.5 million for planning to assist in the development of a comprehensive delay reduction program for the Port Authority’s four commercial airports, consistent with recommendations of the Flight Delay Task Force;
· $2.5 million for planning and design for roadway improvements to roads serving the North Area of Newark Liberty International Airport, including the realignment of Brewster Avenue and Port Street, which are main arteries providing access to the airport, Port Newark and Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal;
· The Executive Director to award or accept assignment of individual construction trade contracts, not to exceed $10 million, in connection with the development of 1 World Trade Center, the Freedom Tower and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum projects;
· A reaffirmation of authority previously delegated to the executive director that provides for the adjustment of various airport user fees and charges, on an as-needed basis, at John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty International airports, LaGuardia Airport and Teterboro Airport, and expands the authority to include all airports owned or operated by the Port Authority;
· Supplemental agreements with FAPS, Inc., at Port Newark for the extension of leases for approximately 198 acres i
ncluding open area, warehouse space and office space for a total minimum rent of $98.3 million;
· An amended and restated lease agreement with McLester Realty, LLC, a joint venture of ASA Apple, Inc. and 2-64 Realty, LLC for 24 years for the leasing of approximately 8.1 acres of open space at the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal for a total minimum rent of $17.3 million; and
· The Committee on Finance to purchase insurance under the existing Owners’ Controlled Insurance Program to include coverage for the Vehicle Security Center, Tour Bus Parking Facility and West Bathtub Vehicle Access project at the World Trade Center site.
Rep. Nadler Announces Deal to Keep Red Hook Port Open
Lauds Port Authority, Governor Paterson, Others for 10-Year Lease Renewal for Operator American Stevedoring
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 24, 2008
NEW YORK – Congressman Jerrold Nadler today announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has approved a comprehensive lease renewal deal for American Stevedoring International (ASI) to continue operations at the Red Hook Container Port for the next 10 years. The approval occurred at today’s Port Authority annual meeting.
Rep. Nadler applauded the efforts of the Port Authority, the Governor David Paterson, and others for delivering this important deal for New York and the region, ending more than four years of debate about the Brooklyn port’s future.
ASI’s previous lease expired in April 2007, and it was proposed years before that the port be rezoned from its historic role as a working waterfront. With the key assistance of the City Council and other elected officials, however, the Port Authority and the Office of the Governor worked to preserve maritime operations at the port, maintaining hundreds of jobs and a major economic and strategic asset for the City.
“By finally extending this long-term lease we have saved the only remaining east-of-the-Hudson port in New York and more than 600 jobs, protected a more efficient method of moving goods in the region, and laid the groundwork for significant economic development for the future,” said Rep. Nadler. “In particular, I want to laud the Herculean efforts of Governor David Paterson and the Port Authority for getting this deal done. We also could not have reached this goal without the critical support of Council Speaker Quinn as well as Council Members David Yassky, Sara Gonzalez, Jessica Lappin, and Mike Nelson, Senator Chuck Schumer, Controller William Thompson, Public Advocate Besty Gotbaum, Congressmemembers Anthony Weiner and Nydia Velasquez, and the many other elected officials who represent the area. Teamsters Local 805, Central Labor Council and the Working Families Party also deserve a substantial share of the credit for their work in saving the port.”
“Not only will this agreement protect hundreds of jobs and a vital industry in Brooklyn for years to come, the positive impact on our environment and economy will be felt for generations,” Rep. Nadler added. "The Port Authority wisely understands the importance of this port, and deserves recognition for nurturing this growing piece of our economy."
“For years, the Brooklyn Port has been a vibrant and necessary part of Brooklyn’s economy,” said local Council Member Yassky. “As we grow and the need for jobs and freight increases, it is heartening to know that the port will be around for years to come.”
“Today’s agreement is exactly the kind of forward thinking by our government that we will need to deal with the influx of one million more New Yorkers over the next 25 years,” said Council Member Lappin, chair of the Council’s land use committee on maritime uses. “This deal to keep the Brooklyn port open could also not have come at a better time for the City’s economy, which desperately needs the boost a booming port business can provide. I am extremely pleased that the working waterfront will continue to work.”
“There are hundreds of workers who can celebrate today because their jobs are safe at the Brooklyn port,” said Sandy Pope, President of Teamsters Local 805 which represents the stevedores at the container port. “These well-paying blue-collar jobs are exactly the kind we need for the working families of this City. Thank you to the Port Authority and Gov. Patterson for protecting them and giving us the opportunity to add even more jobs for New Yorkers.”