Move Will Maintain Maritime-Related Jobs Along Brooklyn Waterfront
The Port Authority today began the process of transferring Brooklyn piers 7-12 to New York City, which will eventually oversee future maritime activities and related jobs along a key stretch of Brooklyn waterfront.
The agency’s Board of Commissioners today agreed to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the New York City Economic Development Corp. to begin the process of transferring Piers 7-12 to the city by the end of March 2007. The Board also agreed to allocate up to $75 million for future state-of-good-repair projects to piers not being served by passenger ships.
In October, the Board agreed to amend a December 2003 memorandum of understanding with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp. to include an additional adjacent parcel of land with the transfer to the corporation of Piers 1-5. In addition, the city has announced its intention to include city-owned parcels in the area, including Pier 6, in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Port Authority has agreed to terminate its leasehold interests in these properties. The transfer of Piers 1-5 to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp. is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year. The city will accept Pier 6 at the conclusion of the current lease on the property.
New York Governor George E. Pataki said, “Our plans for Piers 7-12 will build on our success in creating maritime jobs and economic activity for the state and the city with the opening of a world-class passenger ship terminal to capitalize on the growing market for cruises. We have also taken advantage of the ideal location of Piers 1-6 to create a park that will provide much-needed recreational space for local Brooklyn residents.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “In our effort to use our transportation investments to support the region’s economy, we found a more productive way to maintain viable maritime business in the city. This transaction is consistent with our 10-year strategic plan by ensuring the good repair of the facility, while focusing more of the Port Authority’s resources on critical areas of our regional transportation network.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The cruise industry generated $600 million in economic activity in 2004 and is a significant contributor to New York City’s travel and tourism industry, one of the city’s most lucrative businesses. The new Brooklyn passenger ship terminal will add approximately 330 jobs to the 3,200 cruise-industry jobs already in New York City, providing a major boost to the region’s economic health.”
Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Our plans for the Brooklyn piers will ensure the long-term economic vitality of the Brooklyn waterfront and allow for the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park – a welcome addition of recreational space for the community. To help facilitate construction of this park, the Port Authority also has committed $85 million to this important project, which is in line with our pledge to be good neighbors to communities that host our facilities.”
In 2003 and 2004, the Port Authority and the city Economic Development Corp. commissioned studies to look at the long-term future of the Brooklyn piers and find the best possible use for this important waterfront area. The studies determined that a passenger ship terminal would provide the greatest economic benefits to the community, the city and the region in the long term.
Construction of the new passenger ship terminal began in early 2005 and will be completed in the spring of 2006.
Following today’s Board action, the Economic Development Corp. will begin the Uniform Land Use Review Process for the property. That process is scheduled to be completed by March 2007, and the formal land transfer will occur at that time.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.