New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for maritime businesses to operate at the 72-acre South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT), which will bring this important piece of the Sunset Park industrial ecosystem online by the end of 2016. As referenced by NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer at the Crain’s Business Breakfast Forum last month, the RFP will activate SBMT, a marine industrial facility with berthing space for cargo ships and barges, further supporting an industry that provides thousands of well-paying jobs. SBMT is the only marine terminal east of the Hudson River with direct rail access to the national rail system, giving it the potential to reinvigorate southern Brooklyn’s transportation networks and reducing cross-harbor trucking.
“Sunset Park is home to some of New York City’s most productive and valuable stretches of working waterfront, and bringing maritime uses to SBMT will make the waterfront even more active,” said NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer. “SBMT will play a vital role in our efforts to provide New York City businesses with additional transportation and logistical capabilities necessary to move products across the region and country, driving economic growth, helping to improve the resiliency of our freight and transportation networks, and creating even more opportunities for the Sunset Park community.”
“With the release of this RFP, I am pleased to see tangible progress being made towards reactivating the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Job creation must be the focus of reactivating our industrial spaces, and I am committed to working with NYCEDC and other members of the Sunset Park Waterfront Planning Task Force to ensure that those jobs directly benefit the surrounding Sunset Park community.”
“Our waterfront, one of our biggest assets, requires a development plan designed with meaningful community engagement,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “Preserving South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for quality maritime use is one of several requirements in the agreement I reached with the Economic Development Corporation last year. Releasing the request for proposals to find a long-term tenant at SBMT is an important milestone. The final version of the RFP came with close consultation with a task force of Sunset Park business owners and community organizations that facilitated input and direct community outreach at public meetings. This represents an improved working relationship between EDC and our community. A quality long-term operator for SBMT can now be held accountable for environmental responsibility, long-term economic success, and Sunset Park community benefits.”
“With the release of the RFP by the New York City Economic Development Corporation, we take an important step in beginning the phased development of constructing a major deep-water container port centered at SBMT,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “I have long advocated that our port must retain its position of dominance on the eastern seaboard of the United States because I believe that an active port is imperative for the economic vitality of the entire New York and New Jersey metropolitan region and New York City in particular. That is why I have been a passionate advocate and a supporter of the Port of New York and New Jersey for more than 30 years. Working alongside Mayor de Blasio, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Councilman Carlos Menchaca, and all of the other elected officials who represent the Brooklyn waterfront, as well as key partners in labor, environmental and community organizations, today’s RFP announcement is a major step forward in making Brooklyn an integral part of our port district and I look forward to continued progress in the future.”
“By investing wisely in our port system we can create good paying jobs and foster local commerce,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “Activating South Brooklyn Marine Terminal will reduce cross-harbor truck traffic, while strengthening Sunset Park’s local economy.”
“The Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation is excited about NYCEDC’s release of the RFP that will lead to the activation of SBMT as an industrial maritime facility,” said Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation Executive Director David D. Meade. “We are thrilled to be working with NYCEDC, Council Member Menchaca, local business owners, and community organizations on an SBMT taskforce to help bring a critical piece of the Sunset Park working waterfront online. Today’s RFP signals a commitment to the importance of industrial maritime uses that support quality job opportunities in the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Business Zone.”
“Community Board 7 is pleased by the continuation of smart development along the Sunset Park waterfront,” said Daniel Murphy, Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 7. “We are looking forward to a partnership with our city agencies and local elected officials throughout the process in order to spur development of the waterfront that is in line with the community district’s stated principals of sustainability, economic opportunity and public accessibility.”
The RFP seeks to identify one or more maritime industrial or commercial ventures or other private entities to enter into a long-term agreement with NYCEDC to support growth in regional cargo movement, demand for waterborne goods, and the maritime industry in New York Harbor, creating even more job opportunities on the Sunset Park waterfront. Potential uses for the site include: marine container loading and unloading, bulk and breakbulk stevedoring, vehicle and equipment import and export utilizing maritime transport, waterborne freight warehousing and distribution and maritime construction, among many others. Reactivating SBMT will provide a new gateway for goods to be distributed within the city and Long Island, reducing dependency on trucking from port facilities in other states, while providing new industrial jobs locally. The City has previously expressed an interest in the long-term, phased development of a deep water port facility on the Brooklyn waterfront.
In May, the City Council approved a 39-year Master Lease between the City and NYCEDC to activate an industrial maritime facility at SBMT. The project set the groundwork for the return of maritime service to SBMT, connecting local businesses and consumers to global markets for consumer goods and raw materials. To ensure that reactivating SBMT maximizes local benefits to the adjacent community, the agreement reached between the City, NYCEDC and the City Council provided for the formation of the Sunset Park Waterfront Planning and Jobs Task Force, which is made up of representatives from local community-based organizations and businesses and co-convened by NYCEDC and the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation. The Task Force was initially charged with assisting NYCEDC in the creation of development goals for the RFP, which emphasize providing quality job opportunities; mitigating environmental, climate, and infrastructure impacts; supporting local businesses; and engaging with the local community. The Task Force also assisted in outreach for two public meetings to discuss the development plans, and will also advise NYCEDC on long-term planning for the future of the waterfront that balance the City’s industrial goals with the needs of the Sunset Park community.
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