WNYC's Jim O'Grady caught up with the outgoing head of Port Authority last week. Ward delivered a keynote speech on the sorry state of the city's infrastructure, and had this to say about some key portions of the city's waterfront:
I will state here today, as the outgoing director of the Port Authority, that Governor’s Island will never realize its full economic potential so long as the Red Hook Container Terminal remains a container terminal.
What makes this worth pointing out is how at odds this statement is with the city's own plans for the waterfront. Earlier this year the Bloomberg administration, the Economic Development Corporation and City Planning put together a set of plans for the city's waterfront. In the action plan, it states:
- Red Hook: Provide additional berthing locations to commercial vessels along the north side of Atlantic Basin. (EDC, 2011)
- Red Hook: Market the Container Terminal as a distribution hub for containerized cargo destined for East of Hudson businesses.
The city is also investing heavily in Sunset Park waterfront business development, which includes the expansion of shipping facilities there. Ward and Bloomberg have been at odds before on projects--i.e. World Trade Center--so it's interesting to see the differences between the infrastructure-minded Ward and the development-focused Bloomberg administration on a key issue.