Monday, February 9, 2009

CoWNA letter to the EDC: Waterfront development.

The letter below was sent to the EDC on 2/8/09:

January 8, 2009

Re: New York City Economic Development Corp.
RFP for Pier 11/Atlantic

The Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood association believes that the waterfront infrastructure that both our neighborhood and Red Hook share is a valuable resource that can be used to drive “green” economic development, create long lasting jobs at a living wage and become a public attraction to allow the surrounding neighborhoods to thrive. We also strongly believe that all of these goals can and should be reached in concert.

With that in mind, we are dismayed that the New York City Economic Development Corp. has strongly favored moving Phoenix Beverages to the Atlantic Basin and doesnot appear to have seriously considered other proposals.

Phoenix would be moving their existing jobs from Long Island City to the Red Hook container port. This means that Phoenix will not be creating any new jobs in New York City. If the EDC was to think creatively about more fully utilizing the entire waterfront port infrastructure, there would be a strong potential for creation of hundreds of additional good paying jobs. In this economic environment we find it surprising that the EDC wouldn’t work as hard as possible toward that goal to create as much economic development and job creation as possible. This is, after all, their mandate.

Though involving the public later than we would have liked, we appreciate that the EDC has finally initiated a public dialog on this topic, as witnessed at the Community Board 6 meeting on January 5.

We look forward to participating in a process that effectively engages all community stakeholders and our elected officials. This will realize the full potential of this valuable public resource.

Mike Webster
President, Columbia Waterfront Neighborhood assoc.

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