Brooklyn no moor! Plan to bring S.S. United States to Red Hook scuttled

Berth of a nation! Red Hook dock owner wants to house historic S.S. United States

This plan is sunk!

A Red Hook dock owner’s dream of bringing historic ocean liner the S.S. United States to Brooklyn’s waterfront is dead in the water, after the boat’s skippers announced on Thursday that they have struck a deal with someone else.

But the businessman says he is not salty about the snub — he is just happy to see the boat spared from the scrap heap.

“I would prefer it to be here more than anywhere but it has to be saved and that’s the first priority,” said John Quadrozzi Jr., who had hoped to bring the boat to his Gowanus Bay Terminal at the end of Columbia Street, and turn it into an office and entertainment complex.

The S.S. United States Conservancy — which has been paying to keep the decaying 63-year-old ship in a Philadelphia dock since 1999 — says it will unveil the new berth on Feb. 4. Quadrozzi said he doesn’t know where that will be yet, but confirmed it won’t be in his port.

The location of the press conference may offer some clues, however — it will be in Manhattan, where a mystery real-estate mogul was previously rumored to be vying for the contract.

The conservancy has been looking for a benefactor to bankroll a new home and look for the larger-than-Titanic liner — which once ferried icons including President John F. Kennedy, animator Walt Disney, and newspaper editor Roz Liston across the Atlantic — since October.

Quadrozzi offered to house the boat free at his waterfront empire, where he hoped to retrofit the craft with start-up offices, a gym and swimming pool, eateries, a school, and a maritime museum — a plan that proved popular with locals but struggled to find financial backers.

Still, he says, if the conservancy’s new plans don’t pan out, his offer remains on the table.

“In the event that plans fall through we are hopeful we could put this option together,” he said. “Certainly there has been a lot of interest and support in bringing the ship to Brooklyn.”

The SS United States Conservancy did not return requests for comment by press time.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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