Mayor Bloomberg and Borough President Markowitz Open New York City's Newest Cruise Terminal on the Brooklyn Waterfront
New Terminal Creates 290 New, Permanent Jobs and Capacity to Accommodate City’s Expected Cruise Industry Growth – One Million Passengers Expected this Year in New York.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today opened the City’s newest, state-of-the-art cruise facility, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, in Red Hook. To mark the occasion, the Mayor welcomed Captain Bernard Warner as well as the passengers and crew of the majestic Queen Mary 2, which arrived this morning from the U.S. Virgin Islands and was the first ship to dock at the new facility. The opening of the $56 million dollar terminal brings 290 permanent jobs to the Brooklyn waterfront. In April 2004, the City reached a historic agreement with Carnival Corporation enabling the company to make the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal its berth of choice in the New York region for its Princess and Cunard lines. The economic impact of the cruise industry on New York City is expected to climb to $900 million by 2011, up from $600 million in 2004, due to the City’s increased capacity. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Andrew M. Alper and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Port Commerce Director Richard M. Larrabee and Cunard Line President Carol Marlow toured the facility along with the Mayor.
“Diversifying our economy is an integral part of our economic development strategy, and investing in growing sectors like tourism and the cruise industry is one of the best ways we can achieve that,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “In 2004, approximately 900,000 passengers passed through the City, more than double what we saw per year in the 1990s. Thanks to the spectacular Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, we expect more than a million passengers coming through City cruise facilities this year for the first time ever. We’ve created room for even more growth in the future, and that means more jobs. The new terminal brings 290 new, permanent jobs to Red Hook, and by 2012, we expect the cruise industry to support about 5,000 jobs Citywide.”
The new, 182,000-square-foot terminal is the first in the New York market to be designed specifically to accommodate the largest cruise ships, which carry up to 3,000 passengers. It is expected to receive about 40 ships in its first year. To accommodate the incredible size and weight of the Queen Mary 2, NYCEDC deepened the berth, constructed new mooring points that secure the ship at the pier, and designed and purchased the gangways to accommodate the high volume of passengers. In addition to the $52 million City contribution, Borough President Markowitz allocated about $1.5 million for the project, which also received $2.5 million in federal security funds. The architect for the new terminal is Bermello Ajamil & Partners, a leading cruise facility designer. The construction manager is Turner Construction.
“The new cruise-ship terminal not only creates jobs for Red Hook and Brooklyn residents and revitalizes our waterfront, it also proves that Brookyn’s future is today, right now,” said Borough President Markowitz. “Our tourism kiosk will help passengers discover Brooklyn, and our businesses will benefit from new opportunities with the cruise-ship industry. Cruise passengers will get the best New York Harbor and Statue of Liberty views, and of course a great vacation is just a cab ride away for our residents. The Queen Mary 2 has arrived, and Red Hook and Brooklyn’s ship has come in – all aboard!”
The opening of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is the latest phase in the Bloomberg Administration’s plans to facilitate the growth of New York City’s cruise industry. In April 2004, the Administration reached unprecedented agreements with two of the world’s largest cruise companies, Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Lines, which call for the cruise lines to bring at least 13 million passengers to New York City through 2017 and to pay the City at least $200 million in port charges to support the City’s investment in improving its cruise facilities. In addition to building the facility in Brooklyn, the City is renovating the Manhattan Cruise Terminal so it too can accommodate today’s larger ships and provide an enhanced passenger experience. Prior to the completion of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, the City had limited capacity to handle today’s larger post-Panamax ships. Once renovations in Manhattan are complete, the City will be able to handle four post-Panamax ships at one time – three in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn.
“Brooklyn, like Cunard Line itself, has a profoundly rich seafaring history and has long been at the heart of this region’s heritage and culture,” said Cunard Line President Marlow. “We are very pleased to be a part of this chapter in the area's development. This facility is the first newly developed terminal in New York in decades and Cunard looks forward to providing our guests with a more streamlined embarkation and disembarkation experience.”
The new terminal is located on Pier 12 in Red Hook along the Buttermilk Channel directly across from Governors Island, with views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. The pier itself is 880 feet long, and the entire terminal site is approximately 15 acres, about the size of 15 football fields, including dedicated passenger pick-up/drop-off areas and space for about 600 cars. The terminal is 12 miles from LaGuardia Airport, 16 miles from Newark International Airport and 20 miles from JFK International Airport. The Port Authority, which will operate the new terminal under a contract with NYCEDC, reached an agreement with a limousine operator to provide flat-rate car services to and from the airports and service to other parts of the region.
“This spectacular passenger ship terminal culminates years of multi-agency planning to determine the long-term future of this tract of prime Brooklyn waterfront,” said Port Authority Port Commerce Director Larrabee. “It accomplishes the goals we set out to achieve, including the retention of maritime activity on the Brooklyn waterfront, and a use that will generate economic activity and jobs for the New York region.”
“The Bloomberg Administration is constantly looking for innovative ways to grow the economy and create jobs while getting a high return on our public investment, and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is a tremendous example of that,” said NYCEDC President Alper. “The economic impact of the cruise industry on the City was $600 million in 2004, and we expect that to climb to $900 in the next five years. At the same time, the new terminal will play an enormous role in the revitalization of Red Hook, bringing hundreds of jobs and a steady stream of visitors to the area.”
“The new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is a fantastic addition to New York City's tourism infrastructure,” said President and CEO of NYC & Company Cristyne L. Nicholas. “As the third largest cruise market in the U.S., New York City has experienced tremendous growth in the cruise industry and this new facility will help us to welcome the more than one million cruise passengers we expect to visit New York City in 2006. As the city's tourism marketing organization, NYC & Company has been actively working with the cruise industry, travel agents and cruise passengers by creating pre- and post-cruise itineraries, providing information on cruise news and schedules, and creating a Red Hook brochure touting all the wonderful things to see and do in this community.”
The creation of the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is part of the Bloomberg Administration’s efforts to help grow the Brooklyn waterfront and create jobs in the area. To the north of the cruise terminal on Piers 1-6, the City and State are investing $150 million to create Brooklyn Bridge Park, replacing obsolete piers with a vibrant public space and reconnecting the community to New York Harbor. To the south in Sunset Park, the City reached an agreement with Lafarge North America, in 2003, one of the world’s largest cement distribution companies, to develop a new facility on the 25th Street Pier in Sunset Park. In 2004, the City signed agreements with Sims Hugo Neu Company and the Axis Group to develop a marine-based recycling center and an automobile processing facility at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park. Combined with the new cruise terminal, these projects will bring more than 720 jobs and more than $300 million in public and private investment to the Brooklyn waterfront.