New York City Economic Development Corporation Seeks Operator for Multiple Berthing Locations
Single operator will activate underutilized sites and attract new business to the waterfront
Apple Industrial Development Corp. (Apple), the property management services provider for New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an operator of several vessel berthing locations in the New York Harbor. This effort will increase the usage of City docks by activating underutilized sites, streamlining licensing processes, increasing options for boat access, optimizing existing docking locations, and attracting new businesses to the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island waterfronts.
“WAVES put forth an ambitious agenda for reclaiming the waterfront and today’s RFP is another step towards realizing that vision. Achieving our goal of synchronizing the operations of numerous berthing locations around the City; will allow us to provide coordinated services, create added space for vessels, increase access to amenities, and offer more locations for community programming. This revenue-generating effort is a win-win for the people of the City and the maritime community,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky.
"Our waterways are our single greatest resource in New York City," said Council Member Margaret Chin. "The reactivation of our waterways will put our waterfront amenities on par with great cities all over the world. Today, more New Yorkers using our waterfront parks and services than ever before. This is the right time to revitalize underutilized waterfronts and explore new options for the development of these sites."
“A New York harbor alive with vessels from around the world built our city, our region and our nation. In recent years, the complexity, expense and hassle of operating and docking in our harbor has caused many vessels to use other ports threatening our local commercial, historic and recreational fleet,” said Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance President and CEO Roland Lewis. “The new RFP for a docking operator can be a game changer to reverse this trend and once again roll out the maritime welcome mat. In line with WAVES and Vision 2020, our harbor can once again be as diverse and vibrant as the City that surrounds it.”
“New York has always been a city that revolves around its waterways for trade, jobs, recreation, and natural beauty”, said Edward J. Kelly, Executive Director of the Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ, a trade association with over 500 paid corporate and individual members from the commercial maritime industry. “Our Port is truly an economic engine for our region, and also serves as a strategic gateway for the interior of the nation. We are most pleased that the WAVES initiative has helped to refocus the City on the value of making maximum usage of its waterfront and waterways for safe, vibrant, multi-purpose functions. This RFP will help to create additional vessel berthing options, will enhance the flexibility of commercial operators, and will create more opportunities for the public to get in touch with the harbor.”
“This is something that the historic and educational ship community has been seeking for some time – a single point of contact for vessels and a proactive effort to attract and provide for the needs of these valuable assets for the benefit of all New Yorkers. We applaud this move and hope that it can be expanded to include more piers and berths in the future. Tall ships, historic vessels, educational and research boats and a diverse array of other vessels - large and small, local or visiting – collectively bring richness to our lives and help celebrate the working harbor that that made New York City great,” said Captain John Doswell, Executive Director of the Working Harbor Committee.
The selected operator will manage, license, market, and improve berthing facilities at portions of Atlantic Basin and Brooklyn Army Terminal in Brooklyn; West Harlem Piers Park, Pier 36, Skyport Marina, and potentially Stuyvesant Cove in Manhattan.; and Homeport in Staten Island. This comprehensive approach to operating City-owned piers will provide vessel operators with a single point of contact in identifying ideal berthing locations, thereby unlocking local economic development potential while optimizing maritime uses at each location. Impetus for this effort came from the City’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES), which identified the need to accommodate more vessel berthing locations throughout the City. This RFP addresses the shortage of both the vessel berths and services for all types of watercraft ranging from tug boats and barges to dinner boats and personal recreational boats. The RFP also seeks to improve much needed amenities and services for the diverse range of vessels that call New York home.
Apple will give special consideration to proposals that demonstrate an awareness of the integral role of each berthing bite to their surrounding community and to those that include: improvements to the berthing sites, creative programming, plans to incorporate a community component such as historic and educational programming related to culturally significant vessels, discounted or free services, youth outreach programs, and programs or accommodations for senior citizens and persons with disabilities.
Respondents will propose the fee structure for the berthing locations, commensurate with type of use, demand, and neighboring market rates and all subject to Apple’s approval. The operating agreement will consist of an initial term of three years and up to two additional consecutive one year extension periods at the sole discretion of Apple. The selected operator will receive a monthly flat fee for their services, with the remainder of the berthing site revenues paid to Apple unless otherwise specified.
The Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways launched by the City in May 2011. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, including the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades and introduction of new commuter ferry service; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond. The 130 action agenda projects are expected to create 13,000 construction jobs and at least 3,400 permanent maritime and industrial jobs. It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.
To obtain a copy of either complete RFP, please visit: www.nycedc.com/rfp. Responses are due no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2012.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.