MCG, Why Ikea Red Hook Project Should be Rejected




  • 275red1 [NOTE TO VISITORS: This section of is under re-construction.] THIS BLOG CELEBRATES THE VITALITY OF GREAT CITIES AND THEIR HIGH STREETS. IKEA-RED HOOK is a suburban-style big box store, now in litigation, proposed for the Brooklyn waterfront. The Red Hook site, however, is more than one mile from the nearest highway off-ramp. Red Hook has no subway, and it has narrow cobblestone streets. To reach the site, thousands of cars would have to navigate the already-congested Gowanus Expressway and then drive through Red Hook to the waterfront. This is the most inappropriate site in New York City for a big box store.

    All big boxes, including Ikea and Wal-Mart, say that they create jobs and increase tax revenues. These are claims we should not take on faith. I have looked at the evidence. So far as I can see now, the big boxes' promises are largely false: the costs of big boxes to the city, to other businesses and to the environment are huge. They claim to create jobs, but economists' studies show that they actually destroy jobs. I report that research in my Newsday op-ed Superstores Come With Too High a Price.

    There has never been a full public debate in New York City about whether we want to let in big box stores and, if so, what they should have to look like and how they should have to pay their employees. There is an urgent need for public discussion. For my reasons for opposing Ikea in Red Hook, see my Brooklyn Papers op-ed, Why Red Hook Ikea Project Should be Rejected. There are considerations in city planning, aesthetics, urbanism, law, historic preservation and economics to think that an Ikea store is not the right use for the Red Hook waterfront. Read Ten (10) Reasons to Oppose Ikea-Red Hook.

    This blog aims to paint the whole picture. I will be posting all of the court documents in the litigation.

    About me. I am a professional writer and speaker, a business owner and non-practicing lawyer, and I live in Manhattan. I have no personal economic interest in these issues in general or Red Hook in particular. As a citizen, however, I think that we need to constrain the big boxes, make them look like other New York City stores, locate near New York City public transit like other New York City stores, and behave like other New York City employers. Otherwise, I am concerned about what the big boxes will do to our lively New York City high streets and our urban way of life.

    Boilerplate. I am delighted if you want to refer to or even use short excerpts from this site, as long as you credit me and link back to this site. If you want to quote a larger chunk of my material, please send me an e-mail.


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February 08, 2005





Ikea-Red Hook