FERRY SERVICE TO FAIRWAY MARKET IN RED HOOK BROOKLYN
We are pleased to share the exciting news that additional ferry service will be brought to Red Hook outside of our Red Hook Stores property, which is most well known because of our anchor tenant, Fairway Market. This idea came to fruition thanks to many parties both governmental and nongovernmental that saw the benefit of providing alternative transportation options for visitors and potential customers to Red Hook and its small businesses, which were largely affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Here’s the introduction to the press release issued today….
“Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky today announced the launch of an expanded, free Red Hook Summer Ferry that will operate weekends throughout the summer. The expanded service will begin May 25th and run from Pier 11 in Manhattan to a new stop at Van Brunt Street and then to IKEA, both in Red Hook. The Van Brunt Street stop will activate an existing, currently unused ferry landing, providing convenient access to the neighborhood’s dynamic commercial corridor and connecting New Yorkers and visitors to small businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. The second ferry boat will double the frequency of trips on weekends. The Red Hook Summer Ferry will be free to riders and builds upon the success of New York City’s growing ferry network, including the East River Ferry, which later this week is expected to reach two million total riders in less than two years of service - more than double expected ridership. Free transfers will be available between the Red Hook Ferry and the northbound East River Ferry in order to connect to East River Ferry destinations in Brooklyn and Queens and further strengthen linkages in the City’s transportation network.”
The release goes on to feature quotes from elected officials and contributors to this initiative. For many businesses ,including a number of our tenants here in Red Hook Brooklyn, this will be a factor to help get back on track after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy last year. This summer stands to be Red Hook’s busiest yet!
You can find the remainder of the press release on NYC.gov
Design. Produce. Thrive. RED HOOK WATERFRONT
Red Hook Waterfront Film from Gregory O'Connell on Vimeo.
As you may be aware, our family business, The O’Connell Organization has prided itself on cultivating small business and manufacturing within our commercial properties in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Today, we are proud to say that we, along with our tenant base are responsible for over 1,000 jobs being created and sustained along the Red Hook Waterfront.
Our mission is to acquire, redevelop and manage property while preserving its historic value and utilizing its inherent attributes for the betterment of the community. We seek to ensure that Red Hook, Brooklyn is considered one of the premier waterfront destinations in New York Harbor.
We have come a long way since my father, Greg O’Connell, purchased his first commercial property in Red Hook Brooklyn over 3 decades ago, and we continue to adapt and order to maintain his original business model within these commercial properties.
Our goals have not changed.
Our commercial portfolio within Red Hook is solely based on providing reasonably priced space to manufacturers, artists, entrepreneurs and community organizations. We believe that both our neighborhood and borough benefit from facilities that are dedicated to the cultivation of small businesses that create quality jobs for Brooklynites, the arts which culturally enrich our neighborhood and its surroundings, and community organizations which utilize various strategies to benefit local businesses and residents.
In order to further promote our values and goals we have created a film about our work and the types of manufacturing tenants we attract. This initial film highlights industry within our properties along the Red Hook Waterfront. Tenants interviewed for the film include Flickinger Glassworks, Mile End Brooklyn, and Red Hook Winery. We hired a local filmmaker, Anna Mumford, of Letitia Productions to create the film. We also hired one of our tenants, Mike Beck, of Secret Society Music and Hot Wood Arts to produce original music for the piece.
O'CONNELL ORGANIZATION & BROOKLYN FIBER BRING FREE WIFI TO RED HOOK WATERFRONT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Wi-Fi along the Red Hook Waterfront
The O’Connell Organization working in partnership with Brooklyn Fiber is pleased to announce the launch of a massive free public Wi-Fi initiative along the Red Hook Waterfront. Beginning October 1st, 2012 various sections of the waterfront will become open to the public for free web browsing on any Wi-Fi compatible device.
This initiative is part of the O’Connell Organization’s desire to add a valuable amenity to their current tenant base while also enhancing the experience of newcomers to one of New York City’s most stunning waterfront landmarks.
“Our goal is to attract more visitors to the area in order to stimulate Red Hook’s small business community, many of which are occupants within our properties,” said Gregory T. O’Connell a Principal at the O’Connell Organization. “Adding free public Wi-Fi is a good way to attract visitors who have never been here and make life more comfortable for our regular visitors and existing tenants.”
O’Connell goes on to say that these efforts are part of a larger, long term goal to make Red Hook a destination for tech companies.
“As it is,” continues O’Connell, “our Red Hook Waterfront properties are massive manufacturing spaces. Over the past 2 years we have seen more and more interest from technology firms eager for raw space, easy parking, and unheralded views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan.
In order to cultivate an environment that is welcoming for these types of businesses, the O’Connell Organization has teamed up with Brooklyn Fiber, a local provider of broadband and wideband internet service. The startup offers high speed broadband connections to businesses in the area.
“Our plan from the beginning was simple,” said Eric Veksler, CEO of Brooklyn Fiber. “Offer customers a better product than Time Warner, at a vastly superior price point, and don’t hold them to a contract. When Greg Jr. and the O’Connell Organization asked us to bring the waterfront online we jumped at the chance. We see universal connectivity as inevitable and we would like to be at the vanguard of these efforts.”
The area of coverage for free public Wi-Fi will extend across the O’Connell Organization’s more than 1.3 million square feet of property along the Red Hook Waterfront including most public access areas in front of and behind the Merchant Stores (175 Van Dyke St. or Pier 41), The Red Hook Stores (275 Conover St. or 480-500 Van Brunt St.), The Beard and Robinson Stores (133 Beard St.) and the German American Warehouse (106 Ferris St.). The graphic attached displays the areas of coverage for the Red Hook Waterfront’s free public Wi-Fi along with a timeline detailing availability in each sector.
The O’Connell Organization is a family owned and operated real estate development business with over 150 properties in New York State. Over the past 45 years, the organization has rehabilitated dozens of residential, mixed use and commercial properties in the Red Hook, Columbia Street Waterfront, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill areas of Brooklyn, including the revitalization of Red Hook’s Civil War era properties known as the Merchant Stores Building, The German American Stores Building, The Beard and Robinson Stores Building and The Red Hook Stores Building.
Gregory T. O’Connell, Principal
The O’Connell Organization
New Memorial Plaque Dedicated to Beloved Sister Mary Olivia Clifford and Sister Dorothy Flaum
A few months ago a long-time Red Hook resident named John Burkard brought to our attention the weathering that had taken place to a plaque dedicated to the Sisters years ago. With its placement just feet away from the ocean, the plaque had been destroyed from the salt water. We took time and through a tenant I was able to find a fantastic Foundry that was able to produce a high quality casting along with a coating that would protect the memorial from the weather. If you need anything similar to this done please visit Green Foundry. Lauren and Josh did a fantastic job!
Along with the help of another one of our tenants, Mike Leonard, we were able to fasten the plaque to the bench in a way which will allow it to last for years to come. We believe that the amount of effort, time put into this plaque reflects just how important the Sisters were to this neighborhood.
These wonderful women dedicated their lives to service and we are proud to dedicate a special area in Pier 44 Waterfront Garden to their lives. These women were staples within this community that had a dramatic affect on many people. If you happen to be walking through our Pier 44 Waterfront Garden please stop for a moment at this bench and say a prayer. We should all strive to give ourselves to those in need surrounding us…. just as Sister Mary Olivia Clifford and Sister Dorothy Flaum did.
From the Brooklyn Studio Tours Website...
“Come join us on Saturday, May 19 & Sunday, May 20 from 12PM-6PM and observe first hand some amazing artwork. While you are OOOhhhing and AAhhhing, keep in mind that right along side you will be the very artist who created that masterpiece! We encourage you to open up dialog, snack on some wine, cheese and other treats that may be served and enjoy yourself!”
Here is a list of our Tenants who are participating this year- please click through on each of their names if you would like to find out more about their work. I have also attached the Tour Map above.
Yeon Ji Yoo
Yesterday, former Red Hooker, Ariella Cohen, posted an interview with Greg O’Connell focusing on his real estate and community development and his motivations and thought processes. Here is a bit about Next American City.
Next American City is a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting cities and informing the people who work to improve them. Originally named The Next American City, the organization began publishing a quarterly magazine in 2003. What started as a black-and-white printed publication staffed by volunteers ultimately grew into a popular and influential magazine that reached 1 million people over the course of its 31 issues. It spawned a popular website, local events in cities around the country, and the Next American Vanguard and Open Cities conferences.
Here is a passage showing O’Connell’s thought process with regard to the working waterfront in Brooklyn.
There is no doubt there would be great demand for housing. Perhaps even the city would gain more tax revenue from housing than industry — we could probably triple the rents if we went residential. But the thing to remember, is that you can’t push the small businesses further out from the businesses they serve in Manhattan, and once you lose the working waterfront, you are never going to get it back. You have to take a long-term look and ask: What does the city need to keep going? The city needs to perform certain functions to work — goods need to come in and out, energy must to produced, goods must be manufactured. There are only a limited number of spaces to do those things. The industrial waterfront is a big one.
The whole article sheds light on Greg’s thought process, which I believe is unique, especially when it comes to real estate development. Thank you Ms. Cohen for this interview.
We’re very happy to announce that our only recent available artist studio has been rented to Katherine Lincoln, a Red Hooker/Jewelry Designer/Western New York Export. According to Katie’s website...
“She is inspired by the beauty of the industrial urban landscape and the natural materials found in Native American jewelry.”
Katie is the exact type of tenant that we look to place in our artist studios, please visit her Wear Katherine Lincoln or her ETSY Store.
Recently I found a copy of a study called , “A Preservation Plan for Red Hook, Brooklyn,” that graduate students from Columbia University’s Historic Preservation Program conducted in 2009 in one of my desk drawers. Looking through it has reinvigorated the discussion of the historical value of our industrial waterfront in my mind. It is an excellent study and I feel that preserving our waterfront, especially its historic portions is of paramount importance to any future development.
Brooklyn Studio Tours: May 19th and 20th in Red Hook and Carroll Gardens
This year a handful of our tenants are participating in Brooklyn Studio Tours, an Art Studio and Community Tour throughout Carroll Gardens and Red Hook. Here is some information from the Brooklyn Studio Tours website.
“Brooklyn Studio Tours has a clear mission. Promote local Brooklyn artists by organizing events in the artist’s home environments and market out to the interested public. Brooklyn has an abundance of talented, famous and amazing artists that should be shared with the world.
The local studio tour events allow for a weekend of entertainment and a chance for many new relationships to form. Our growing community of visitors have he unique experience of meeting many of their artists in their workspaces; providing a one on one understanding of how the end product is made and prresented.
Brooklyn Studio Tours will further publicize our talented creatives and allow for global awareness through our website; virtually allowing the whoel world access into phenomenal works of art with the Made In Brooklyn stamp. Many of the works listed in our gallery section are for sale. If you cannot physically make our tour dates, you still have the option of walking away with something new and wonderful!”
The deadline to register is April 27th for the Spring show. If you are an artist, whether it be along the Red Hook Waterfront or not, you should consider participating!
Once the list of participants is up I’ll get up a post of our tenants that are involved.
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