City dumps Hook pier plan

The Atlantic Basin and Red Hook Cruise Terminal.

The city quietly sank its plan for redeveloping a piece of the Red Hook waterfront with a marina, entertainment offering and hotels, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

More than two years after the city began soliciting bids for an inactive publicly controlled pier next to the cruise ship terminal and just south of Hamilton Avenue, developers were shocked to receive letters about two weeks ago from the Economic Development Corporation that it had rejected all the proposals.

“We are befuddled,” said Bruce Batkin, co-founder of Terra Capital Partners, which submitted a proposal for Pier 11 that included a luxury marina, restaurants, a shipyard and a slip for ferries to connect with nearby Governors Island. “This seemed to answer what they were looking for. It would have been highly profitable for the city.”

Another proposal, from New York Water Taxi and the Durst Organization, would have built a public beach, concessions and marina, too. Like Batkin’s plan, this one promised well-paying skilled labor jobs for Red Hook, which has high unemployment.

“We’re looking to get the public to support us,” Tom Fox, president of New York Water Taxi, told the Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood Association last Thursday night.

He described his project as a “less formal, funky place” with its public access to the waterfront, the man-made beach and bicycle greenway.

The EDC did not discuss its decision. Spokeswoman Janelle Paterson said only, “None of the proposals met our criteria.”

It is unclear what was missing.

In a January, 2007 announcement about the redevelopment of Pier 11, the city said it wanted “a marina and maritime support services,” adding that “preference will be given to proposals that maximize public access to Atlantic Basin and improve the waterfront experience for visitors and residents.”

The death of the Pier 11 plan is yet another setback in the city’s waterfront agenda for Brooklyn. The Bloomberg Administration suffered another defeat this year when American Stevedoring, which operates a cargo port on four neighboring piers, signed a 10-year lease with the Port Authority, despite years of city effort to gain control of those docks to build housing, shopping and a new home for Brooklyn Brewery.

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