Red Hook Ikea hearing

The Brooklyn Paper
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The rezoning application that would allow the construction of a 346,000-square-foot Ikea megastore on the Red Hook waterfront will get a public hearing before the City Planning Commission this Wednesday, July 28, at 10 am, at the commission’s offices at 22 Reade St. in Lower Manhattan.

For the past several months, the communities in and around Red Hook have been battling over the prospect of the big-box store occupying the 22-acre former New York Shipyard site along the Erie Basin between Columbia and Dwight streets.

The plan also includes 71,400 square feet of adjacent restaurant and retail space, 1,400 parking spaces and a 6.2-acre public esplanade.

The proposal has been tearing at the seams of an already socially and economically divided community, splitting Red Hook into two camps — those concerned about bringing much-needed jobs to the neighborhood and those who fear Ikea traffic will destroy quality of life and feel that better uses could be found for the valuable waterfront property.

Both Community Board 6 and Borough President Marty Markowitz have endorsed the application. Markowitz is calling on Ikea to facilitate day care for working mothers, to provide a job retention program and to fund local artists. The two recommendations and the application will be reviewed by City Planning and the public can testify at Wednesday’s hearing.

After the City Planning Commission renders a decision, the application goes before the City Council for review.

The hearing will be held at the City Planning offices at 22 Reade St. in Lower Manhattan.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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