With a long history as a major industrial and shipping hub, and a recent boom in residential population, Red Hook is a neighborhood in transition. Nevertheless, the development of public amenities has lagged behind other areas due to a lack of public transportation options. The neighborhood’s proximity to the river and other residential enclaves is tempered by a long walk to the subway.
What is needed is an infrastructural overlay, to provide better access to the existing transit network nodes, and allow easier use of the system by residents and visitors. We propose a system of newly created paths (to and from Manhattan, throughout Red Hook and to Prospect Park), where a series of service areas will be strategically set-up to aid in repairs and provide support. These areas will be carved from existing street parking spaces, and distributed along the routes to provide the maximum zones of coverage for riders. Amenities include integrated tire pumps and puncture repair kits, maps and area information, secure locking points, and covers for shelter during inclement weather.
Additionally, the creation of a centralized hub, for biking, commuting and recreational use, will open up access and provide economic stimulus to the community. Our loft/village provides a central access for point for the bicycle network, and is a dynamic venue where commuters can accomplish errands, relax, socialize and play. Twenty four hour programming would include bike storage, bike repair and customization, showers, subway access, a laundromat, post office, cafe, bar, newsstand, a BMX recreation area, an outdoor performance area and a grocery store.
To attract a mixture of desirable retail and service businesses to the loft/village, the Brooklyn Brewery would be approached to share the space. By allowing half the block to be occupied by brewery operation and the other half village, a process of urban revitalization will be set in motion, encouraging other businesses to follow suit and residents to enjoy the new amenities. By inter-mixing these various commercial/social activities, the site would see a continuously changing mix of activities at all hours of the day, helping to maintain a welcoming atmosphere.