A waterfront blog about Red Hook, Brooklyn. From Columbia Street to the Van Brunt Stores and from Valentino Pier to Red Hook Rec Center.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Request a Traffic Signal on Van Brunt Street

Q: How Can I Request a New Traffic Signal?
A: You can request the installation of a traffic signal by writing to the Department of Transportation's Signal Engineering Intersection Control Unit at 34-02 Queens Boulevard, Long Island City NY 11101.

Do it today. Send a letter to the Department of Transportation. Send a copy to Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez's Brooklyn Office, 268 Broadway, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Send another copy to City Council Representative Sarah Gonzalez, 4808 Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn 11220.

The Next Red Hook Project - The Revere Sugar Refinery?

In the comments section on the last post someone alerted me to Craig's List post advertising the Revere Sugar Refinery. According to the post, the owner is asking $650,000 for the whole thing. Its a great location, but chances are that almost none of the existing structures are of any use at all. An old post on the WaterFrontMatters website mentions that the property is "known to have contamination issues" which would most likely make any develop extraordinarily complicated and expensive. If nothing else, you'd have to pull out that sunken lightship!

I think the big risk for the site is for a big box store. With Ikea going in next door, there will undoubtably be interest in mirroring that development. And although I'm not adamantly opposed to the Ikea project, I would be opposed to allowing it to become the dominant development on the waterfront. The borough, the community board and the city should probably get involved as soon as possible to try to make sure that the site is developed with some sort of plan in mind.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

So what's going on with Imlay?

The announced deadline for a decision on the conversion of 160 Imlay had been January 18th, but it seemed that nothing was ever announced. After weeks of searching on-line, I got frustrated enough to call the New York State Court and ask what was going on. I was told that the January 18th deadline was actually the date that Judge Lewis (the presiding Judge in the case) had given to two parties to file their final statements. The Judge then has 30 to 90 days to make an actual decision on the case.

There is the possibility that the Imlay case will become more than just a neighborhood issue. I believe it was the Courier (c'mon Courier... how about a website?!?) that earlier ran a story concerning the donations from the developers to the fund for the NYC 2012 Olympic bid. The Village Voice mentioned the connection in their story about Imlay. And recently the the Observer and NYC have addressed the question of whether big donors to the Mayor's favorite causes are getting special treatment. So far the specifics of the relationship between the Imlay project, the BSA and the NYC 2012 fund haven't really broken into the wider debate.

Personally, I'm a bit torn by the whole thing. As I've said, I think the influx of new residents would be a good thing for Red Hook so I support the Imlay conversion. Likewise, I would like to see the Olympics come to NYC. For all the trouble that the Olympics would inevitably bring, on balance I honestly think it would just be fun and exciting to see NY host the Olympics. If anything, I think the Olympic bid as it stands doesn't include enough Brooklyn events. One way or the other, it would be a shame if the Imlay project got caught up in this kind of outside problem.