Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Historic building coming down, nearby concrete plant going up

Mike McLaughin of the Brooklyn Paper provided updates on two sites near Ikea in Red Hook this week that leav us feeling like we've been hit with something along the lines of a double whammy:

Concrete Plant on Beard St.
The opening of a concrete plant on Beard St. is moving ahead, and officials from the company have recently met with Red Hook residents about community concerns. The Brooklyn Paper article provides the following quotes:

“We think the dust coming off the site will be less than if it was [still] a vacant lot,” said Michael Gentoso, a regional vice president for US Concrete. The local business will be a subsidiary called Eastern Concrete.....

But some say it’s too close for comfort. US Concrete’s factory would sit across the street from Added Value, a community farm, and Red Hook Park, with its sprawling athletic fields.

It is also next to the Ikea superstore, with its peaceful waterfront park.

“It’s an awkward location that should have required more study,” said John McGettrick, co-president of the Red Hook Civic Association.

McGettrick said the company should perform an environmental review before opening, but officials from the company dodged the request, neither consenting to nor rejecting it.

The complaints extend to the expected noise, exhaust and traffic from the 15 to 20 trucks that the company says it will operate from the site.

“Traffic is going to be too much. In and out. In and out,” said Lillian Marshall, tenants association president for Red Hook Houses West.........

The Revere Sugar Factory site / Sitt's Mega Mall

Brooklyn Paper also observed that demolition of the historic Revere Sugar Factory building began last week, which possibly suggests that developer Joe Sitt has soured on his plans for a mega mall that would have incorporated the building.

The article says:

The old warehouse, along Beard Street near the Ikea superstore, was all that Sitt left standing after he tore down most of the sugar factory in 2006 to the howls of preservationists, who said that the Revere plant, with its iconic dome, was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

Since then, the site has been quiet, but Sitt has been talking about repurposing the brick storehouse as a mall with BJ’s as the anchor tenant, according to documents obtained by The Brooklyn Paper.

Given that the Swedish furniture company’s big box store is next to Sitt’s property, many believed that Red Hook’s waterfront might become the shopping outlet center of the city.

The sudden burst of activity in Red Hook is a change for Sitt who has been preoccupied with larger pieces of real estate puzzle.

Its not like we were thrilled with the prospects of a mega mall on the site, but the plan that had been previously released for that at least incorporated this building. Now its being torn down - and who knows what we'll end up with.

Additional coverage of this topic can also be found on Curbed, including the excellent photo below:

Image from Curbed via Flickr/Lazzo51

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