Friday, January 20, 2006

In the News: For Whom Will the Foghorn Blow?

Red Hook has become one of the most highly coveted pieces of waterfront real estate in our region during the past five years. Many see it as a neighborhood with vast development possibilities and undervalued property, while longtime residents seek to retain its historic maritime appeal and functionality. As the planning process moves forward, the Red Hook community will continue to develop its vision for incorporating residential, commerical, and conservation needs. This will set a precedent for waterfront revitalization regionwide states the NY Times in the following article. JB

Red Hook could've been a contender, just like Marlon Brando's character in "On the Waterfront," a film that immortalized the bleak, harsh atmosphere of the Brooklyn docks (even if it was filmed in Hoboken).

With acres of piers for hauling cargo, and sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline, Red Hook should have become a leading industrial port or another charming Brooklyn village like nearby Carroll Gardens.

But a series of government miscalculations - like cutting the neighborhood off from the rest of Brooklyn with the Gowanus Expressway and the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, and shifts in the waterfront economy to containerized cargo - left the square-mile peninsula with forlorn blocks pocked by tumbledown houses, unkempt lots and hollow-eyed factories.

In recent years, however, Red Hook has become a vigorous place again, so much so that it is now a contested ground for apartment developers wanting to cash in on the views, artists and restaurateurs looking for cheap space, factories seeking a haven from gentrification elsewhere and old-line residents wanting to keep the old-time flavor.


Map of Redhook...

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