On Friday, May 11th, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) hosted a special tour to the celebrate the official reactivation of Sunset Park’s South Brooklyn Marine Terminal as a major shipping hub. At a press conference, Congress Members Nydia Velázquez and Jerrold Nadler, Council Member Carlos Menchaca and President and CEO of the Red Hook Container Terminal Mike Stamatis with EDC President James Patchet celebrated the new Terminal that promises to bring new industrial uses to the South Brooklyn waterfront and also connect local talent to quality jobs. We were on site to capture photos of the waterfront infrastructure and a docked shipping vessel!
Red Hook Container Terminal and Industry City have been selected to operate the Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. The de Blasio Administration hopes to reestablish the facility as a leading shipping hub for the region to not only create more jobs, but also to provide a more sustainable and safe way to ship goods by reducing the number of trucks on the roads — eliminating over 11,000 truck trips a year — and, as a result, also decreasing air pollution. “Tens of thousands of truck trips that would otherwise be going over our bridges or out to New Jersey and Connecticut will instead come on our waterfronts which is cleaner for everyone…. It’s a great outcome for the Sunset Park community,” said EDC President James Patchet.
Built in the 1960s, the 88-acre SBMT served as a container terminal into the 1980s. Since then, it has largely been used for handling break-bulk and project cargo. Since 2011, NYCEDC has worked to rehabilitate and reactivate SBMT by investing over $115 million in terminal infrastructure improvements, site preparation, and dredging, including $20 million to extend freight rail infrastructure to SBMT, making it the only marine terminal in the borough.
“Without exaggerating, I can tell you that the only possible site left in New York City for a deep water container port with rail access is Sunset Park, centered here,” explained Congressmember Jerry Nadler. “It is the only site where we don’t have to blast solid rock to handle modern ships.”
Legs of the New York Wheel in the Red Hook Terminal
New uses of the facility include waste paper recycling, as well as the importation of lumber, salt, aggregate material and project cargo. At Friday’s press conference, an emphasis was placed on the importance of investing in ports: investing in the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal means also investing in Sunset Park and its community. With a lease through 2054, SSBMT will reactivate 64.5 acres of the terminal — a mix of covered and open space — and move over 900,000 metric tons of material annually through the port.