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Red Hook Graving Dock is Gone, but the Issue Isn't

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Followers of the local argument over how the Ikea in Red Hook should move forward probably remember the nasty fight over the fate of the historic Graving Dock on the property. Preservationists and working waterfront advocates wanted it saved because they said it was a valuable asset for ship repair. Ikea filled it in, saying the land was needed for parking and rejected ideas to build an extra parking garage, for instance, instead so the dock could be kept in working order. Now, the city says that maybe it shouldn't have been filled in because it was relying on "outdated data" about the future need for such facilities. The numbers come from a city-commissioned study done by SUNY Maritime College that concludes the city will need seven new dry docks by 2016 and that three of them will need to be graving docks like the one Ikea filled in. (The filling in is said to be reversible, and about one-third of the dock has been left for decorative purposes on the esplanade.) Cost of replacing the Red Hook graving dock with a new one: $1 billion. City officials apparently said they had no idea the city would be short of ship repair facilities because they were using 1991 studies. Opponents of the project, meanwhile, raised exactly that objection and even filed a lawsuit to stop the fill in.
· Ikea Berth Pangs [NYP]
· The Red Hook Graving Dock is Toast [Curbed]