Proposed Sunset Park pier lease peeves residents

Plan calls for lease to fuel barge operator Vane Brothers on pier’s south side

Sunset Park pier
Sunset Park pier

A plan to lease a stretch of Sunset Park waterfront to maritime company Vane Brothers has area residents up in arms.

The deal, which would allow Vane to dock its empty fuel barges along the southern side of the terminal’s Pier 4, would rob the neighborhood of a prime stretch of Brooklyn waterfront, residents told the New York Daily News. The plan also comes on the heels of delays on a long-promised Bush Terminal Pier Park, which locals said they now worry will be whittled down further to accommodate Vane.

“If the barges start coming here, it would destroy everything,” Michael Muchnik, a local worker, told the Daily News.

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The city’s Economic Development Corporation, meanwhile, is promoting the project as a balance of Sunset Park’s need for industrial growth and new amenities for residents. The agency reportedly plans to open up the north side of the pier to community-friendly boats such as dinner cruises and historical ships, while allowing Vane to dock empty barges between runs along the pier’s southern side.

For the moment it is unclear whether the EDC plans to finalize the deal, which does not require any city approvals, the Daily News reported.

“Our community board isn’t too keen on this project, however, we are discussing it with the EDC to make the best we can of the situation,” Jeremy Laufer, district manager of Community Board 7, told the paper. [NYDN]Julie Strickland