Two Huge Redevelopment Projects Move Forward on Red Hook Waterfront

10/24/2011 4:22 PM |

160 Imlay Street and, to its left, the cranes of the Red Hook Container Terminal.
  • 160 Imlay Street and, to its left, the cranes of the Red Hook Container Terminal.

Big plans are afoot down on the waterfront, where a pair years-in-the-making real estate developments in Red Hook could bring hundreds of condo units, apartments and hotel rooms to the Red Hook Container Terminal and an adjacent warehouse. Both projects—for condos and hotels on the shipyard piers and the residential conversion of a huge vacant building on Imlay Street—were first floated years ago before sinking with the housing market collapse, but have lurched back to life recently.

On Sunday the Post followed up on a recent transfer of power at the Red Hook shipping terminal, citing inside sources as suggesting that, contrary to official statements by the Port Authority, the recent replacement of the shipyard’s longtime operator American Stevedoring International by a beer distribution company (Phoenix Beverage Co.) with no shipping experience and only a one-year contract foreshadows more substantial changes ahead.

Sandy Pope (really?), head of Teamsters Local 805, points out, “Ships need to book years in advance. This has to do with real-estate interests.” The temporary fix with a small-time operator, then, would be a way for the city and the Port Authority to bide time while plotting a relaunch of its 2003 project to open up the Red Hook piers to condo and hotel construction—the latter, presumably, to take advantage of the adjacent cruise ship terminal.

And then, just over the fence from the shipyards—and right next to an identical building that fine art auctioneers Christie’s recently turned into a state of the art storage facility—the warehouse at 160 Imlay Street that was once slated to be turned into condos only to go dormant mid-gutting in 2008 will apparently be converted to high-end residential rental units. A tipster wrote to Brownstoner:

I understand that the owners of 160 Imlay St in Red Hook, Brooklyn, have been given the go ahead and already had plans figured out for…the giant decrepit building that mirrors the fixed up Christie’s warehouse. Apparently they do not intend to sell any of the spaces, but rent them out in the similar market price as [Greg] O’Connell’s with the Fairway building apartments.

The potential effects of these two mega-projects on the quiet neighborhood’s quietest corner are impossible to predict, beyond their likely immensity.