A City council sub-committee voted unanimously yesterday to allow IKEA to build a 22-acre mall on the waterfront in Red Hook, anticipated opening, 2006. Here's a run-down on the situation.
IKEA claims the new store will:
will bring 600 jobs
Red Hook residents will have a two-week head start applying for jobs
Critics claim the store will:
generate 11,000 total car trips on a busy day
generate masses of extra air pollution into Brooklyn
cause traffic delays
What neither side talks about is how the mall-building will meet the ground and integrate with the surrounding community in a way that promotes diverse uses and generate sociability. When something like an IKEA is introduced into a community, it is an overwhelmingly single-use structure, focused on the sole intent of filling the coffers of a business, and in this case, one headquartered outside of the US. While it is convenient and provides affordable goods for a community that has been historically overlooked, it does so in such a grand-sweep that it severely limits other possibilities for the future of Red Hook. I like change, communities have to change to maintain their vitality, but is IKEA Red Hook's highest potential? Definitely not.
TSTC Consortium - "Brooklyn Jobs, Traffic Fight"
IKEA Red Hook, a Big Deal for Brooklyn
NY Daily News "Wrench in Red Hook"
Gotham Gazette "In Big Projects, Where Do the Jobs Go?"
Posted by Shin-pei at 9:01 PM