Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Does Brooklyn Brewery Covet Contaminated "Public Place" Site?

The city may be considering the deeply contaminated Public Place site between Smith Street and the Gowanus Canal as a site for housing and the community may have other ideas about using the space as a park. The Brooklyn Brewery, however, may be eyeing the land as a new site for its operation. The brewery has been angling for land as part of the possible Red Hook Piers redevelopment, but its owner told the Daily News' Jotham Sederstrom that he'll take his brew shop to Gowanus if the Red Hook plan sinks. Mr. Sederstrom writes:
Steve Hindy - president of the brewery long expected to be an anchor tenant at an overhauled Pier 7 - may instead relocate his brewery to Fifth and Smith Sts. if negotiations between government officials and maritime leaders hit a stalemate.

"I believe the Economic Development Corp. is committed to bringing us and our distributor, Phoenix Beverages, to Pier 7, but the dispute between the Port Authority and American Stevedoring shows no sign of resolution," Hindy said.

The nationally renowned brewery has long been expected to play a significant role on the waterfront alongside docked cruise ships and other maritime interests.

But the Carroll Gardens location, just blocks from the Gowanus Canal and a
warehouse that could be incorporated into the plan, could provide space for the brewery, a beer garden and daily tours, Hindy said.

"The brewery would be a good buffer there between the heavy industrial uses
and the residential portions of the neighborhood," said Hindy of the spot known as the Public Place site...The 8-acre lot in Carroll Gardens, which has sat unused for decades, was heavily contaminated when it was the site of a gas plant, but could soon be developed as affordable housing or retail or commercial space.

"Most people are expecting the site to be developed for a variety of uses because it's that large," said Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman. "But exactly what is going to go in there, no decisions have been made."

The waterfront plan has seen recent delays, Hindy believes, because American
Stevedoring, a lessee whose contract has expired on Pier 7, is appealing a decision by the Port Authority not to renew the lease.

For months, the Federal Maritime Commission, the body charged with ruling on
the appeal, has operated without a chairman, a presidentially appointed
position. No decision will be made until the seat is filled.
The Public Place site is, in fact, one of the most polluted sites in all of New York City, having served as the home of a manufactured gas plant that left behind a toxic soup of contaminants as deep as 150 feet. The site would require an extensive cleanup and the nature of the remediation and the safety of using the site for housing and other purposes are the subjects of debate in the community. The most likely solution is a partial removal of soil and a capping of the pollutants that are left in place. While such a cleanup method is common, its long-term safety is increasingly being questioned. There was another in a series of meetings between the city and the community about the site's future last night.

Related Post:
Gas Pains: Underground Toxic Threat in Gowanus, Other Neighborhoods
Toxic Brooklyn: Are Current Cleanup Methods Safe?

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3 Comments:

Blogger dalton said...

Oh...my...god. This is such amazing, and yet frightening news. I live about two blocks down the street, I can only imagine the traffic this would generate. And yet...being so close to all that beeeeeeer... grlglrglrlglaaahhhh....

9:33 AM  
Blogger Gringcorp said...

And of course, the site will be very well-located for that enormously lucrative beer concession Bruce Ratner has promised Hindy at the real estate scam dressed as a sports arena we call Atlantic Yards. This is all, of course, assuming that the Long Island and New Jersey massive want to drink the stuff in any large numbers.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

I met the son of the owner of the Brookly Brewery. They are talking about opening a beer garden type place on the end of Atlantic Avenue, right on the East River. He said that his father is also planning to buy out the upstate partners and expand there, not in Brooklyn.

11:25 AM  

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