RED HOOK — When it comes to the new Citywide Ferry System set to begin next year, Red Hook has one message for the city — put our dock at Atlantic Basin.
The Economic Development Corporation is eyeing the Atlantic Basin, located near the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, as a possible site for its planned ferry dock once the service launches next summer.
But three other sites are also being considered for the stop in Red Hook — Erie Basin near Ikea, the pier at Valentino Park and another at the far end of Van Brunt Street near Fairway Market.
"We see Atlantic Basin as holding strong advantages over the other proposed locations," said David Estrada, chief of staff to City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, at a public hearing Tuesday night at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights that drew almost two dozen residents and community members from Red Hook.
Most of the neighborhood, including business owners, public housing tenants, private residents and artists are also in favor of having the dock at Atlantic Basin, said John McGettrick, a longtime resident and local leader.
He also said the location was superior from an environmental perspective. It would mitigate traffic congestion while buffering residential units from potential pollution from the ferry service.
The hearing was meant to address the city's recently released environmental report in which they said found the ferry could "significantly" hike air pollution near the dock sites — as well as to collect feedback from all of Brooklyn. The borough is also slated to get Citywide Ferry stops in Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, DUMBO and at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Though only a few dozen people attended the meeting, almost all of the speakers were from Red Hook.
Pioneer Works founder Dustin Yellin also expressed a preference for Atlantic Basin — as did other employees from the cultural center based in a former warehouse.
Speakers also voiced opposition for installing the dock at the pier in Valentino Park, a peaceful green space known for its sweeping views of the waterfront and the Statue of Liberty.
"Valentino Pier is one of the few places where the community comes together," said Allison Knoll, who works at Pioneer Works. The park also draws crowds for a summer outdoor movie screening series.
"It would really be taking something away from the community to lose our wonderful sunset view," said resident Robin Goeman, who called Valentino Park "a gem in our neighborhood."
And if the system were to operate as a true commuter ferry, docks near Fairway Market or Ikea would not adequately serve Red Hook's residents.
"It's hard for me to walk down to Valentino Pier or even down to Fairway," said Annette Amendola, 69, who has lived in Red Hook for her entire life, and who advocated for the Atlantic Basin stop.
A spokeswoman for the EDC declined to comment at the public hearing. Further requests for comment were not returned.