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Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, NYCEDC, and Port Authority Announce Plan to Transform Brooklyn Marine Terminal With Investment in 122-Acre Brooklyn Waterfront, Support Future Growth of Howland Hook Marine Terminal

May 14, 2024

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Agreement Between City and Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Will Advance Efforts at Brooklyn Marine Terminal and Howland Hook Marine Terminal

City to Develop Modern Maritime Port Focused on Freight Bound for the Five Boroughs, Blue Highway and Micro-Mobility Strategies that Reduce Truck Traffic 

City, State Make Joint $95 Million Initial Investment in 122-Acre Brooklyn Waterfront That Will Ultimately Generate Significant Economic Impact, Potentially Create Thousands of Jobs 

City to Launch Community Visioning Process to Unlock Full Mixed-Use  Potential of Brooklyn Waterfront as Part of New “Harbor of the Future

Port Authority Will Efficiently and Effectively Expand  Cargo Operations and Generate Economic Growth on Staten Island

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey today announced an agreement in principle between the City of New York, New York state, the Port Authority, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) that will enable the city to transform the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a modern maritime port and vibrant mixed-use community hub. This agreement will allow the Port Authority to drive long-term expansion of Howland Hook Marine Terminal, which the Port Authority currently operates on Staten Island. The project to build the 122-acre site stands to potentially help create thousands of jobs for New Yorkers, while generating significant economic impact for New York City. Today’s announcement to create a new modern maritime port and community along the Brooklyn waterfront further builds on Mayor Adams’ efforts to develop a “Harbor of the Future” — a multifaceted initiative announced by Mayor Adams in his State of the City this year to reimagine New York City’s waterfront to fuel 21st-century growth and innovation — and builds on Governor Hochul’s commitment to unlocking economic potential on New York State land, building strong community anchors, and creating good-paying jobs of the future.

“For 20 years, skeptics thought this deal couldn’t get done, but our administration prioritized the ‘Harbor of the Future’ and now we have the potential to create thousands of new jobs, generate billions in economic impact, and build a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood and modern maritime port focused on getting trucks off the roads,” said Mayor Adams. “By assuming control of the Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Red Hook in our city government’s largest real estate transaction in recent memory, our administration is demonstrating that we will continue to deliver big wins for New Yorkers, day after day. The potential for this area is limitless, and 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 120 acres that works for Red Hook, for Brooklyn, and for our entire city.”

“Today’s announcement marks the next great chapter for Brooklyn’s storied waterfront and is a win for the people of New York City,” said Governor Hochul. “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. Our partners at the Port Authority will ensure that the marine terminal at Howland Hook remains a thriving shipping hub, building upon the recent landmark announcement of $200 million in private investment to ensure that facility’s strong future.”

“This agreement is a win-win-win: it benefits the region, the City of New York, and the Port Authority,” said Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton. “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.”

“The Port Authority was created 103 years ago to bring a cohesive vision to our region’s ports. Strategic investment at the region’s seaport by the Port Authority and our private partners has enabled it to become the second-busiest port in the country, and able to meet unprecedented shipping demands during unforeseeable events like the global pandemic,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “Today’s agreement sets the stage for long-term expansion of Howland Hook that will help ensure that the Port of New York and New Jersey will remain competitive globally throughout the coming decades."

“After decades of inertia and deterioration at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, today's announcement finally offers us a clear path forward to a much-needed and long overdue revitalization of the Brooklyn waterfront," said U.S. Representative Dan Goldman. "As Chair of the Brooklyn Marine Terminal Task Force, I am thrilled to be working side-by-side with Senator Andrew Gounardes and Councilmember Alexa Aviles as Vice Chairs to ensure that a thriving waterfront and modern maritime facility is at the core of this project and that the community is integrally involved in the decision-making process."

“There is so much we can unlock by investing in the Brooklyn Marine Terminal and the Red Hook container terminal," said New York State Senator and Brooklyn Marine Terminal Task Force Vice Chair Andrew Gounardes. "Transferring the property to EDC will give us the opportunity to do finally work towards creating a truly 21st century marine terminal. I look forward to working with EDC, the city, the state, and my colleagues in government to engage the community and stakeholders to ensure that we activate our blue ways, tackle the proliferation of last-mile facilities, and unlock economic opportunity.”

“I have long recognized and advocated for an end to the state of neglect of our precious waterfront in Red Hook,” said New York City Councilmember and Brooklyn Marine Terminal Task Force Vice Chair Alexa Avilés. “Like all of my neighbors, I’m fully aware of the many missed opportunities we’ve had to build a greener and cleaner future here. After relentless advocacy from the community I represent, state and city officials now seem aligned with what we have all recognized for years. I hope this land swap will bring us closer to our sustainability goals and build toward a modern port and equitable working waterfront. This project must include direct accountability, and I am committed to being there every step of the way to make sure there is a public review process and the people of Red Hook are heard. I look forward to a robust revisioning process alongside my neighbors." 

Brooklyn Marine Terminal Transformation

As part of the effort, the city will assume control of the entire marine terminal in Brooklyn, encompassing 122 acres of waterfront in Red Hook and the Columbia Street Waterfront District, including the existing Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Mayor Adams also today announced an initial $80 million investment in the Brooklyn Marine Terminal to stabilize and repair Piers 7, 8, and 10, and to fund planning for the 122-acre waterfront's future, including an up to $15 million investment to fund a new modern, electrified container crane for operations at the terminal. By mid-June, NYCEDC will assume responsibility for management and operations of Brooklyn Marine Terminal, while supporting existing tenants, including assuming the recent five-year extension of Red Hook Container Terminal’s operating agreement. Through this effort, NYCEDC and the city aim to embrace the future of modern maritime, grow the existing specialized container business, enable the development of a citywide micro-mobility strategy to reduce truck traffic, and work with the community and key stakeholders on a master plan to ensure the long-term viability of the port while incorporating important community amenities.

Governor Hochul also announced a $15 million commitment for a future cold storage facility on-site. The lack of cold storage in Red Hook has contributed to traffic, pollution, and other quality-of-life concerns as perishable merchandise is transported in and out of Brooklyn. By committing this funding, Governor Hochul is building on her long-term agenda to improving the quality of life in Brooklyn and in New York City.

The city will assemble a Brooklyn Marine Terminal Taskforce — chaired by U.S. Representative Dan Goldman with New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes and New York City Councilmember Alexa Aviles serving as vice chairs — to co-lead an extensive engagement process. The process will kick off later this spring and will engage a wide range of stakeholders — including local elected officials, unions, waterfront stakeholders, Brooklyn businesses, workforce development, the adjacent community, and the maritime industry — to develop a shared vision for the future of this vital facility and district. NYCEDC has engaged renowned community engagement and urban design firm WXY to support this work.

Additionally, Mayor Adams announced today that the city has submitted grant applications for over $350 million in federal funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation to help transform Brooklyn Marine Terminal into the world's first model for a modern maritime facility optimized for international cargo handling, as well as low-carbon, last-mile freight movement. The funding requests — supported by the elected officials representing the site — prioritize replacing the defunct Piers 9a and 9b with a new marginal pier for greater capacity to handle international containers and micro-freight, and traffic improvements to improve traffic flow around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and in the Red Hook community.

Over the past decades, as part of the city’s lease and operation of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, NYCEDC has invested over $162 million into Piers 11 and 12.

The transfer of control in Brooklyn will provide an opportunity to drive economic growth; explore a multitude of mixed-use development options, including housing and community amenities; prioritize workforce development; potential to help create thousands of jobs; and build a modernized 21st-century maritime port in the 122-acre waterfront with a focus on micro-distribution strategies that can remove trucks from New York City roadways.

Howland Hook Marine Terminal

The city will amend its lease of a 225-acre portion of Staten Island’s Howland Hook Marine Terminal to the Port Authority, which currently leases Howland Hook from the city, to give Port Authority operational control of the site. This will bring the entirety of Howland Hook under Port Authority control, supporting its ability to drive future expansions.

Howland Hook is one of the key container terminals in New York Harbor, and it recently attracted its largest-ever private investment. As part of an amended lease agreement announced in September 2023, Howland Hook’s new operator — global shipping and logistics company CMA CGM — committed more than $200 million to transform the site with modern facilities, expanded capacity, and sustainability upgrades — creating hundreds of new jobs and small business partnerships, particularly for minority and women owned businesses. This agreement between the city and the state will help to build on recent investments at Howland Hook and help to drive even more long-term investment in the terminal. Additionally, CMA CGM has committed to boosting the facility’s capacity by 50 percent over the next seven years, allowing it to handle up to 750,000 container lifts each year.

The capacity enhancements will enable Howland Hook to remain competitive with cargo demand forecasted to surge in the coming decades, keeping goods flowing. CMA CGM has also committed to contracting goals for minority-owned, women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, and to maximizing the use of locally-owned businesses. In the coming decades, the Port Authority and its private partners will strategically invest in upgrades to the site to optimize supply chain integration, create good-paying jobs, and maximize economic growth.

“This administration has made it a mission to plan not just for the next year, but for the next century, and this historic deal will help get us there. Our ambition for the Harbor of the Future, where we are accelerating job creation, innovation and economic opportunity on our waterfront, is well on its way with this new addition,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “The agreement took enormous effort and cooperation between the city, state and Port Authority, and I’d like to express my deep gratitude to our partners for getting it done. But this is only the beginning of our work in Red Hook. I look forward to hearing from our neighbors at the community visioning process where the future of these piers will be decided.”

"This deal represents an exciting opportunity to define what the waterfront of the future looks like in New York — from delivering our 'blue highways' and taking truck traffic that snarls our streets and chokes our communities off the road, to a mixed-use waterfront that provides respite for New Yorkers and environmental infrastructure for a changing climate," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "This is just the beginning. We look forward to a robust community engagement process." 

“This deal provides a generational opportunity to work with the community and stakeholders on an extensive visioning process to ensure a transformational master plan that unlocks the full potential of over 120 acres on the Brooklyn waterfront,” said NYCEDC President & CEO Andrew Kimball. “A reimagined waterfront can deliver a modern maritime port with a focus on micro-distribution strategies that remove trucks from our streets and increase union working waterfront jobs, as well as provide important community-facing amenities. This site will become another critical node in Mayor Adams’ vision for the ‘Harbor of the Future.’”

"This historic agreement will help the city reimagine freight deliveries through our Blue Highways initiative, which will reactivate our waterways for cargo and reduce our reliance on trucks," said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Greener and more efficient delivery options will improve the quality of life for surrounding neighborhoods and make our streets safer. We look forward to working with Red Hook and the surrounding communities, as well as our sister agencies, to continue exploring better solutions to enhance safety and manage freight through the area."

"This transformative investment in Brooklyn's waterfront represents a forward-thinking vision for New York City's economic growth and resilience,” said Empire State Development President CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight. By revitalizing the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a dynamic, mixed-use community hub and a center for modern maritime employment, we are unlocking the potential for thousands of new jobs and substantial economic benefits that will ripple throughout the city. This project, in tandem with the future expansion of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, will foster a thriving, sustainable, and prosperous future for all New Yorkers."

In the coming weeks, NYCEDC and Port Authority will execute a lease and associated agreements for both sites, allowing each to assume immediate control of onsite operations, subject to the approval of each agency’s board.
Today’s announcement builds on the Adams administration’s broader strategy to develop the Harbor of the Future — a reimagined, East River-connected network of innovation and growth. The Harbor of the Future includes emerging innovation centers at the Hunts Point Produce Market, Governors Island, the Brooklyn Navy Yard , the Science Park and Research Campus in Kips Bay, and the North Shore of Staten Island. Most recently, Mayor Adams announced that the city will invest $100 million to create the “Climate Innovation Hub” at the Brooklyn Army Terminal as a part of the city’s Green Economy Action Plan that will position New Yorkers to benefit from nearly 400,000 “green-collar” jobs by 2040. This new hub will serve as a home for clean tech innovation and manufacturing and encourage climate innovation startups.

The Adams administration is additionally transforming the city-owned South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) into one of the largest offshore wind port facilities in the nation. In March 2022, NYCEDC and its subtenant, SSBMT, completed a long-term agreement with Norwegian Energy company Equinor to reactivate the terminal as an offshore wind staging and assembly port. The new SBMT will help create hundreds of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity for the city, state, and region, and provide clean offshore wind power to millions of homes and businesses. The city has committed nearly $152 million to offshore wind infrastructure projects across New York City.

“The upgraded Brooklyn Marine Terminal will transform the Brooklyn waterfront and improve quality of life for residents of the surrounding neighborhoods,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “I congratulate the city on taking this important step and will continue to fight for federal resources for the project.”

"Our waterfront communities have demonstrated their desire to be included in economic revitalization projects," said New York State Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes. "As conversations began about strengthening the working waterfront community at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, I was excited to see these desires becoming a reality. This project has the potential to bring our community members into modern maritime jobs that prepare them for the green economy of the future, bring customers back to local business, and breathe life back into historically overlooked communities. I want to thank our local and state governments and agencies for their investment into the surrounding neighborhoods. I look forward to being an active participant in maintaining a transparent and open dialogue with the community on the future of our working waterfront."

"The transformation of the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a vibrant, mixed-use waterfront community marks a monumental step forward for Brooklyn and for New York City at large,” said New York State Assemblymember Charles D. Fall. “I am personally committed to ensuring that this development not only revitalizes the area but also serves as a catalyst of innovation and opportunity. This project will not only transform our waterfront but also generate thousands of jobs, driving economic growth for our city.”
“Remembering the basics of what makes our city so great can lead to a brighter future for Brooklyn, and that includes revitalizing our waterfront,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Today’s announcement is great news for Brooklyn’s economic development. With proactive investments, we can create new jobs and redevelop the waterfront that helped build our borough and our city. Thank you to Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul, the Port Authority, and New York City Economic Development Corporation for bringing this funding to revitalize Brooklyn’s waterfront.”

"A key component of New York and New Jersey's maritime industry is the Howland Hook Marine Terminal,” said Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella. “It employs hundreds of people with well-paying jobs, and we would like to see it expand. That's why we supported last year's efforts to provide a significant capital investment to enhance and to improve the terminal. We are hopeful that this transfer to the Port Authority, which seems like a more natural fit, will allow Howland Hook to remain competitive for years to come.”

“Our city’s waterfronts are the key to creating a more sustainable future,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farias. “That is why I am excited to see our mayor, governor, the Port Authority, and the NYCEDC carrying out their vision to develop a Harbor of the Future in south Brooklyn. As Chair of the Committee on Economic Development, I have been unwavering in my support and advocacy on the issue of better utilizing our waterfronts and unlocking the economic potential they offer our city, state, and local economies. I look forward to continuing to work with all parties to ensure we are thinking creatively and effectively about how to serve our waterfront neighborhoods best and bolster our local supply chain.”

“The plans for the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, coupled with the strategic expansion of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal, demonstrates our commitment to Staten Island's economic vitality and its pivotal role in New York City's maritime industry,” said New York City Councilmember Kamillah Hanks. “This initiative is set to create thousands of jobs and boost economic activity. By focusing on sustainable development and modern infrastructure, we are ensuring that Staten Island remains at the forefront of economic and community development."

“As a proud representative of the Columbia Waterfront, I am excited about the potential benefits that an investment for the Brooklyn Marine Terminal can bring to my constituents,” said New York City Councilmember Shahana Hanif. “If implemented equitably, this initiative will create jobs, reduce emissions, and foster a more sustainable and inclusive economy for all New Yorkers. I am committed to making sure that the community has a seat at the table. The upcoming visioning process for the city’s investment must improve the health and well-being of local neighborhoods.”

“Today’s announcement by Mayor Adams underscores the importance of the maritime industry in the heart of New York City, and in particular, the importance of the Red Hook Container Terminal and greater Brooklyn Marine Terminal facility to the people of the City and State of New York," said Michael Stamatis, president and CEO, Red Hook Container Terminal, LLC. "We applaud New York City Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul for making this long-term commitment and investment in the future of the working waterfront, ensuring a stable and resilient supply chain for the millions of people who live, work and visit New York City every day, while also demonstrating to the men and women who sacrificed their own personal safety as essential workers at the Port during the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring our vital supply chain remained open, that their sacrifice did not go unnoticed. The modernization and expansion of the Brooklyn Marine Terminal facility must be done now to meet head on the challenges associated with traffic, congestion, reducing carbon emissions, addressing sea level rise and climate change, and delivering a resilient future for all New Yorkers." 

“This transaction is beneficial to the Port Authority, the city, and the state, as it will help enable both Howland Hook and the Brooklyn Marine Terminals to transform into sites that are equipped to thrive in the 21st century,” said Jeff Lynford, vice chairman, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. “The consolidated ownership structure at Howland Hook will support long-term expansion and growth as we prepare for more than $200 million in private capital to be invested there in the coming years.”
"This investment in the Red Hook working waterfront is crucial to the future of New York City," said Frank Agosta, president, Local 1814 ILA. "We need to reimagine how freight and goods are delivered utilizing our 500 miles of waterfront. The workforce of ILA Local 1814 is ready to get to work and we thank the governor and mayor for this down payment".

“REBNY applauds the city, state, and Port Authority for coming together on this agreement,” said James Whelan, president, Real Estate Board for New York (REBNY). “We expect Brooklyn and Staten Island neighborhoods along the waterfront will see continued economic momentum and private investment because of these projects, helping to grow and further diversify New York City’s economy.” 

"Red Hook is the hidden gem of the New York City waterfront,” said Mitchell L. Moss, professor of urban planning and policy, New York University. “Mayor Adams and the Port Authority have forged a plan to have New York City provide unified leadership to guide the future of Red Hook while the Port Authority strengthens Howland Hook's role as a major container cargo hub for the region. For too long, we have neglected Red Hook; under Mayor Adams and EDC President Andrew Kimball, the rebirth of Red Hook's waterfront will generate new jobs, new activities and new opportunities for New Yorkers to connect with our spectacular maritime culture.”

“The Maritime Association of the Port of NY & NJ applauds the work from all parties involved on this agreement,” said Stephen Lyman, executive director, Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ. “Reinvigorating the marine assets in the Port of NY & NJ is crucial to supporting freight movement now and in the future. We are excited to support the economic benefits that will surely propel maritime commerce for many years to come.

“Throughout its history, New York City has always been an important port city and a maritime powerhouse,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Today’s announcement by the Port Authority and NYCEDC builds upon our the importance of maritime uses at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal, and positions this important part of our waterfront for strategic growth.” 

"As a neighboring waterfront public space, we are thrilled about the incredible possibilities that transforming the Brooklyn Marine Terminal will create for our borough and our city,” said Eric Landau, president, Brooklyn Bridge Park. “All of us at Brooklyn Bridge Park are very excited to join in what comes next.” 

“At this time of shifting baselines where business is no longer usual, we are pleased to see a recommitment by New York City to its working waterfront, maritime industry, blue highways expansion and micromobility.  New York City and the region will face major growth in goods, bulk construction materials, food and other essential supplies needed at the waterfronts and the interiors of the five boroughs.  This growth must not be handled solely by trucks, which brings the opportunity squarely to Brooklyn Marine Terminal for freight modernization,” said Cortney Koenig Worrall, president and CEO, Waterfront Alliance. “We are excited about the many opportunities, the commitment to stakeholder engagement, and that New York City is meeting the call for sophisticated, thoughtful and forward-thinking maritime leadership.”

“New York’s port is a vital part of our economy and a major influence on the health of the estuary.  Ensuring that this coastal infrastructure meets maritime needs as well as community and ecological goals is critical to its success,” said Robert Pirani, director, NY-NJ Harbor & Estuary Program, Hudson River Foundation. “We appreciate the importance of this initiative and look forward to the continued conversations about the future of these important facilities in Brooklyn and Staten Island.”


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