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NYC Takes Over 122 Acres Of Brooklyn Waterfront With Eye On Redevelopment

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announce the deal for Red Hook's Brooklyn Marine Terminal on Tuesday morning.

New York City is planning on transforming a mile-long stretch of East River waterfront in Red Hook, Brooklyn, following a land swap with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

An agreement reached by the city and state government with the Port Authority and the New York City Economic Development Corp. could allow the city to transform the 122-acre swath of land that includes the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal. Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams announced the deal in a press conference on the waterfront Tuesday.

Bloomberg first reported the real estate transaction, which calls for the city to take over the land between Brooklyn Bridge Park and Red Hook and transfer ownership of the 225 acres it owns of Howland Hook Marine Terminal, a container port facility on Staten Island, to the Port Authority.

The city hopes to modernize the marine terminal to make it more environmentally friendly, but the land swap also allows it to court developers to build retail, housing and green spaces on the land, which reaches a block inland in some places.

“The potential for this area is limitless,” Adams said in a statement announcing the deal. “We’re excited to work with the local community, our fellow elected officials, and key stakeholders to come up with a plan for these over 100 acres that works for Red Hook, for Brooklyn, and for our entire city.”

The deal places Howland Hook entirely under the Port Authority's control, leaving the government agency to oversee its expansion following a recent $200M private investment in the facility.

Elected officials hope that the swap — which could be the largest physical real estate transaction for the city government in two decades but involved no cash changing hands, according to Bloomberg — will lead to a full transformation of the waterfront.

The state should also benefit from the port’s transformation, Hochul said in a statement. The Port Authority's mission prevents it from initiating development on its land.

“The transfer will allow the City, working in close partnership with the community and my administration, to begin the long-anticipated process of reimagining the Red Hook piers as a modern maritime facility that also serves community needs,” she said.

The transfer isn't final, but the agencies are set to sign a memorandum of understanding later this week and transfer the properties over some months, Bloomberg reported. The city said the plan won't involve any evictions, early lease cancellations or use of eminent domain.

The city has applied for $350M in federal grants to fund the port’s transformation and is expected to contribute $80M to the development to fund the stabilization and repairs for Piers 7, 8 and 10, as well as for planning the waterfront's future.

That funding is also expected to cover a $15M all-electric harbor crane for Pier 10. The state government also committed $15M for an on-site cold storage facility.

“This agreement is a win-win-win,” Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton said in a statement. “By strengthening our Howland Hook Marine Terminal through this transaction, we are driving forward one of the fundamental strategic imperatives of the Port Authority, which is the vitality of our ocean-going cargo container supply lines. At the same time, we will enable the City of New York to transform Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a vibrant, mixed-use community asset.”