New York City to invest millions redeveloping marine terminals

May 16, 2024

Two marine terminals in the New York City area will be redeveloped into modern shipping facilities, with housing and retail at one of the facilities.

New York City has agreed in principle to a deal with New York state, the Port Authority of New York and the New York City Economic Development Corporation that will transform the Brooklyn Marine Terminal into a modern maritime port and mixed-use community hub, the city announced Tuesday.

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.

The city and EDC’s goals for the project include growing its specialized container business and reducing truck traffic, the city said.

City officials have submitted grant applications seeking $350 million from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation to optimize the facility for international cargo handling as well as low-carbon, last-mile freight movement, Mayor Eric Adams said.

The funding requests prioritize two defunct piers with a new marginal pier with greater capacity to handle international containers and micro-freight, as well as traffic improvements to handle traffic flow around the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the Red Hook Community, the mayor said.

“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,” Adams said.

In turn, the port authority will assume full control of the Howland Hook Marine Terminal in Staten Island, allowing it to drive expansions and upgrades that will help it keep up with cargo demand, the city said.

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,” the city said. “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.”

The components of the plan include:

  • The city will invest $80 million in the Brooklyn Marine Terminal to fund planning for its future and to stabilize and repair Piers 7, 8 and 10. The investment includes up to $15 million for a modern, electric container crane for operations at the terminal.
  • In June, the New York City EDC will assume management and operations of Brooklyn Marine Terminal, including a recent five-year extension of Red Hook Container Terminal’s operating agreement.
  • A $15 million commitment for a future on-site cold storage facility in the Red Hook Container Terminal. 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, the city said.

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.

Photo courtesy of NYC/EDC

Miles Smith

Miles Smith has more than two decades of communications experience in the public and private sectors, including several years of covering local governments for various daily and weekly print publications. His scope of work includes handling public relations for large private-sector corporations and managing public-facing communications for local governments.

Smith has recently joined the team as a content writer for SPI’s news publications, which include Texas Government Insider, Government Contracting Pipeline and its newest digital product, Government Market News, which launched in September 2023. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s in journalism.

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