Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Schumer, Borough President Markowitz and Fairway President Glickberg Cut Ribbon for New Market on Brooklyn Waterfront
$28 Million Project Will Bring Quality Market, 200 Jobs And New Residential Units to Red Hook.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was joined today by Senator Charles E. Schumer, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Fairway President Howard Glickberg to cut the ribbon on the new Fairway Market on the four-block long Beard Street Pier on Brooklyn’s waterfront in Red Hook. The project, in what was a pre-Civil War coffee warehouse, includes a 52,000-square-foot market, a 22,000-square-foot food preparation area on the second floor, parking for more than 300 cars, and waterfront landscaping including a half mile path connecting the Beard Street Pier to Pier 41. The new market will employ a staff of about 200 permanent workers. The project also features 45 units of market rate loft residences and 6,000 square feet of office space for local not-for-profit and community-based organizations and artists studios, to be completed in the next few months. The project’s developer, Greg O’Connell of Harbor View Associates, was also on hand for the ceremony, as well as Council Member Sara Gonzales, Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Andrew M. Alper and Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert Walsh.
“Revitalizing our waterfront and connecting it to neighborhoods is one of our primary economic development goals, and there is no better example of what we can accomplish than what is underway along the Brooklyn waterfront in Red Hook,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The opening of Fairway and creation of new housing are the latest signs of Red Hook’s growing vibrancy. This area has a long history as a working waterfront, and I’m pleased the vast majority of new jobs at Fairway will be filled by Brooklyn residents, as is the case at the new Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on Pier 12. By promoting quality amenities like Fairway on previously City-owned land, creating a world-class waterfront park on Piers 1 through 6, and placing job-intensive, maritime industrial companies on Piers 7 through 10, we are adding to Red Hook’s increasing lure as a great place to live and work.”
“This beautiful new Fairway is the crown jewel in Red Hook’s astounding renaissance,” said Senator Schumer. “Red Hook has a rich history and the new Fairway will certainly be a part of its tremendous future.”
“Fairway is a dream come true for Brooklynites who value quality, innovative, and affordable supermarkets, and who will surely be making the pilgrimage from every corner of our borough,” said Borough President Markowitz. “Their new location represents the proper use of our waterfront, and the fresh, high-quality produce and prepared foods are long overdue for Red Hook residents, who know that a development that works with and for their community is always in good taste. Oh, did I mention the four-star nova?”
Fairway and SBS worked with the Fifth Avenue Committee – a not-for-profit that develops affordable housing, provides education opportunities and creates links to employment for residents of South Brooklyn – on community outreach to recruit, train and refer candidates for jobs at Fairway. Of the 300 potential new Fairway employees: 180 are from Brooklyn and about 110 of those are Red Hook residents including 5 of the store’s assistant mangers. SBS also provided Fairway with a $40,000 NYC Business Solutions Training Grant – matched by Fairway – to create a training program for its assistant managers to give them the skills necessary to advance; the training program began in January 2006.
“This is a terrific example of the success you can have when economic and workforce development come together,” said SBS Commissioner Walsh. “This has been a highly successful program, and one that will be a model for future local hiring programs. By working with community employment groups we have provided jobs for local residents at various levels and are providing the training necessary to allow them to hone their skills and advance their careers.”
Greg O’Connell, a local resident who has focused on re-developing distressed and abandoned warehouse buildings in Red Hook for 35 years, purchased the 230,000-square-foot warehouse from the City, and with Fairway, is investing about $28 million in the overall project. The new market is highlighted by a dynamic brick façade and rows of arched windows with iron shutters, original beams and massive squares of yellow pine supporting columns that preserve the rich historical elements of the warehouse. The market includes a giant produce section, kosher and non kosher bakeries and butchers, aisles of top brand groceries and other amenities including more than 350 gourmet cheeses, 30 varieties of olives, and extensive seafood selections. The market also offers prepared foods and catering capability and features a 50 seat café.
The original Fairway Market was founded in 1940 by Howard Glickberg’s grandfather, Nathan Glickberg, as a fruit and vegetable store on the site of the current Fairway Market on West 74th Street in Manhattan. In addition, Fairway has locations in Harlem and Plainview, Long Island. Harold Seybert and David Sneddon co-own the markets with Howard Glickberg.
“Everything about this project is exciting, and it’s great to be an integral part of the renaissance of Red Hook,” said Howard Glickberg. “The architectural beauty of this 150-year-old building and its waterfront setting will only enhance the shopping experience for our customers. We are proud to bring Brooklyn the finest foods available, at the absolute best prices in this spectacular location overlooking the Statue of Liberty and the New York City skyline.”
The new Fairway is not just for residents of Brooklyn. Manhattan residents will be able to travel to the new Market by water on weekends when New York Water Taxi will run ferry service from Battery Park, World Financial Center, South Street Seaport and other Manhattan stops right to the dock outside store. The seven minute ride, which is partially subsidized by Fairway, will cost $5 each way.
The new Fairway Market is joining a number of other projects that are bringing new life and jobs to the Brooklyn Waterfront. Last month, the Queen Mary 2 was the first ship to berth at the City’s new $56 million Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. 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 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 Fairway development, these projects are bringing more than 920 jobs and more than $330 million in public and private investment to the Brooklyn waterfront.