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New York Wheel Shipment Marks Rebirth of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal

 A shipment of cranes for the construction of the New York Wheel marked the reactivation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park.
A shipment of cranes for the construction of the New York Wheel marked the reactivation of the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park.
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Scott Ettin

SUNSET PARK — The arrival of a cargo ship in Sunset Park from Denmark late last month marked the reactivation of South Brooklyn Marine Terminal for the first time in years, officials said this week.

The BBC Scotland docked at the terminal June 28 carrying large crane parts to be used for the construction of the New York Wheel, a massive Ferris wheel that's expected to open next year on Staten Island's waterfront, according to the city's Economic Development Corporation.

This is the first large cargo shipment received at South Brooklyn Marine Terminal [SBMT] in more than a decade, a spokesman for the city agency said. 


[Photo Credit: Scott Ettin]

The work at the Sunset Park terminal, located on Second Avenue between 29th and 39th streets, is expected to continue at least through September as another shipment is expected in the fall. 

The ship was berthed in Sunset Park for five days, with at least 30 union longshoremen moving the cargo every day, the EDC said.  


[Photo Credit: Scott Ettin]

The project is a part of an agreement between the city and Mammoet USA North, a firm that offers heavy lifting, transportation and hoisting services. The company has been hired to unload, stage and assemble the oversized parts of the New York Wheel at SBMT, along with employees of the Red Hook Container Terminal, the EDC said.  

By early September, the second ship should arrive with more crane parts as well as pieces of the New York Wheel, such as wheel spokes. 

When completed, the New York Wheel will stand 630 feet high at St. George on Staten Island and is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the borough. 

Last month, construction crews worked hours to pour the concrete foundation for the first section of the giant wheel. 

ny wheel

[Credit: © S9 Architecture/Perkins Eastman]

But the city's plan to bring new life to South Brooklyn Marine Terminal hasn't exactly been smooth sailing.

The reactivation was almost killed because of a tense spat between Mayor Bill de Blasio and local City Councilman Carlos Menchaca.

Menchaca, who represents the area, had called for more community control of the site as well as a job training program and funds for public spaces, such as Bush Terminal Park. Since the councilman's support was required for the project to move forward, the city withdrew its application amidst the disagreement. 

The dispute was settled months later. The city announced in June 2015 that South Brooklyn Marine Terminal would be reactivated as a working maritime port facility in hopes of creating hundreds of jobs in the maritime industry. 

The EDC and Menchaca worked together to create a task force for the Sunset Park community, according to the agency's website.

"This is a big step towards putting our waterfront back to work," de Blasio said at the time. 

In December last year, the EDC also released a "Request for Proposals" for a long-term tenant for SBMT. The deadline for the RFP was March 2016. A finalist is expected to be announced early next year, a spokesman said. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of the story stated the "Request for Proposals" had been released in February 2016, as per information from the Economic Development Corporation. It is actually Dec. 2015.


[Photo Credit: Scott Ettin]