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Concrete fit on Columbia • Brooklyn Paper

Concrete fit on Columbia

United States Concrete, the Texas−based construction giant, could be poised to open a plant in Red Hook, this paper has learned.

Sources said the publicly traded company is said to be eyeing a site at Columbia and Halleck streets, near the Red Hook IKEA.

Vonna Newsom, a spokesperson for U.S. Concrete, initially confirmed that the company was “opening a plant in Brooklyn,” but later said she didn’t have any additional information and knew nothing of the potential arrival.

Rachael Dubin, the deputy director of the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation, a business advocacy group, said her organization just started working with U.S. Concrete “on incentives tied to real estate and equipment investment and job creation” in an effort to reap the most local benefits from the company’s expected arrival.

Locals said they were unsure what to make of the rumors, which have been circulating in the neighborhood for months.

Ian Marvey, the executive director and co−founder of Added Value, operates a community farm near the potential concrete plant site. He said he has heard the rumors, but is still unsure whether the company’s arrival will become a reality. The uncertainly is part of the problem, he said.

“The planning of Red Hook has been patchwork, and the people who live down here often feel that there is not enough opportunity for input on how those decisions are made,” he said. “That doesn’t support the long−term growth of the neighborhood nor does it support long−term plans for waterfront use.”

According to the company’s Web site, U.S. Concrete had 132 fixed and 12 portable ready−mixed concrete plants, seven precast concrete plants, one concrete block plant and seven producing aggregates facilities. It operates in two business segments: ready−mixed concrete and concrete−related products, and precast concrete products. In November 2008, it acquired a ready−mixed concrete plant and related inventory in Brooklyn for $2.5 million, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. The name of the acquired company was not available at press time.

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