South Brooklyn Marine Terminal lease approved

Use of marine terminal as auto cargo processing facility approved after lease term reduced. On June 29, 2006, the City Council approved a lease submitted by the Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Small Business Services for 74 acres of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal, an 88-acre Brooklyn waterfront parcel spanning from 29th to 39th Streets and 2nd Avenue to the Gowanus Bay.

Currently used for parking and storage, Axis Group, Inc. would develop and operate, within the first five years of the lease, a vehicle processing facility responsible for 95,000 vehicles per year. The EDC originally proposed a 20-year lease term with two five-year options and required conversion of the property to a container port facility by the end of the lease term. The EDC planned to invest $24 million to add to Axis’ $12 million investment to improve and maintain the site.

At the June 20, 2006 hearing before Council’s Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses, the EDC highlighted some of the expected benefits of the lease, such as the reactivation of an underused maritime facility, $90 million in annual net revenue for the City, the creation of approximately 300 jobs, and reduced truck traffic on crossings into the city due to Axis’ plan to transport vehicles on ocean vessels and rail barges as well as trucks.

Axis representatives pointed out that the project would bring a completely new business to the city since there are no vehicle processing locations in the city; the region is served by several New Jersey locations. Axis also emphasized its outreach efforts to Sunset Park organizations, its dedication to creating union jobs, and its commitment to working with Community Board 7 to hire Sunset Park and Red Hook residents.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler testified in opposition to the length of the lease term. Nadler noted that, while the proposal was excellent in many respects, the 30-year lease term was inconsistent with longterm port plans and urged its reduction to avoid precluding future development of a container port.

At a second hearing held on June 29th, the EDC testified that the lease term would be reduced to 15 years with one five-year extension, at the City’s option. Before the full Council voted on the lease, the Subcommittee and the Land Use Committee approved it, with Council Member Yvette Clarke noting that this “decision will serve the City well and will provide growth and development.”

Council: South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (June 29, 2006). CITYADMIN

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