The company operating the last active shipping docks in Brooklyn will remain on the Columbia Street waterfront for 10 more years — a victory over city officials who had once sought to evict them to make room for housing, a maritime attraction and a beer garden.
American Stevedoring Incorporated, the shipping company running four piers, signed the 10-year lease with the Port Authority last week.
Such a deal seemed improbable before the Bloomberg administration dropped its effort last fall to cast off American Stevedoring from the piers, which are between Atlantic and Hamilton avenues, to create a luxury waterfront of housing, hotels, marina and a Brooklyn Brewery garden.
That idea eventually sank after opposition from elected officials, who criticized the mayor’s ballyhooed cruise terminal on two piers that were previously operated by American Stevedoring for producing only a smattering of full-time jobs, rather than the hundreds Bloomberg promised.
American Stevedoring’s friends applauded the deal.
“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,” said Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights).
The company says it employs over 600 full-time employees in Brooklyn, but critics say the number is closer to 160.
©2008 Community News Group
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