Maritime Biz To Replace Shantytown

MacMillan File PhotoAs some better-known companies flee Connecticut for Massachusetts, a dredging and maritime construction company is sailing in the opposite direction, planning to set anchor in riverine Fair Haven.

The company is Patriot Marine, of Winthrop, Mass., which, pending a final city approval, plans to move to 90 River St.

Neighbors were pleased to hear that at their most recent Fair Haven management team meeting.

City Livable City Initiative staffer Lori Lopez called the marine-based business a choice that “makes a ton of sense.”

Reached by email after the meeting, city development staffer Helen Rosenberg (who couldn’t make the meeting) confirmed that Patriot Marine has signed a purchase and sales agreement with Maverick Partners, current owner of the long, grey shuttered building that stretches to the river at 90 River.

In 2005 the property had been sold to nearby Suraci Metal Finishing, which renovated it and employed over 100 people before going bankrupt.

Two years ago Maverick bought the bank lien and has signed a purchase and sales agreement with Patriot for the property.

Patriot, however, can’t close on the the 50-foot wide waterfront strip until after the Board of Alders approves the sale. The matter is currently before the board.

According to a summary of the proposal that Rosenberg said will be presented in November, the company would maintain equipment, weld cranes and other equipment, and store items as needed on the property. There would also be an office to handle accounting, payroll, and indoor tasks.

As part of the purchase agreement, Patriot would install a new steel bulkhead at a waterfront area where for years, until this spring, “Shantytown,” a colorful “fishing village,” flourished.

Lopez reported that the “village” is gone. The man who had kept it together was no longer fulfilling that role, she said. (Click here to read about that.) People had been living there illegally. “It was time to make it go away,” Lopez said.

Lopez indicated that the gathering of colorful fisherman, amid a camp-like collection of chairs, coolers, and flags, had gone away long before Patriot Marine had expressed an interest in the property and there was no connection between the two developments.

Patriot’s proposal also includes a promise to replace the entire roof of the 57,000 square foot building at 90 River St. as well as to renovate the facade and the inside to make about 10,000 square feet available for rental by tenants.

Importantly, under the deal Patriot would grant the city a permanent easement over the property for a pedestrian walkway, at such a time that the city receives funding to build it.

During the dredging season the company employs about 50 people and in the off-season 15, according to Rosenberg’s summary.

Fair Haven management team Co-Chair David Steinhardt, himself the owner of a small area manufacturing business, called the news very good. “The waterfront is slowly being developed,” he said.

“River Street has been the bane of my existence for 16 years,” said Lopez. “This is great news.”

Post a Comment

Commenting has closed for this entry


posted by: HewNaven on October 9, 2017  5:15pm

I knew it!

posted by: HewNaven on July 18, 2014 8:17pm

I think these are gentrification vampires.

posted by: 1644 on October 9, 2017  5:50pm

Blue collar jobs and an increased tax base, with no displacement of current residents.  What’s not to like?

posted by: LookOut on October 9, 2017  7:06pm

1644:  What’s not to like?  Well, I’m can’t tell you but I’m sure there are some ‘please don’t ever make any progress’ posters who will complain about this.

posted by: JCFremont on October 9, 2017  10:02pm

@1644 Oh wait for it, don’t you know blue collar jobs are the cause for our pending global apocolypse? I’m sure we will hear from the usual suspects.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on October 9, 2017  11:33pm

Fair Haven management team Co-Chair David Steinhardt, himself the owner of a small area manufacturing business, called the news very good. “The waterfront is slowly being developed,” he said.

Good for who?This will be just like they are doing in the south Bronx.

The Bronx Develops: South Bronx Waterfront Projects Spark Fears of Gentrification
August 31, 2017

Amid the rise of real estate interest in the South Bronx, new developers along the waterfront say they will deliver more housing, public parks and retail stores to areas like Port Morris and Mott Haven. But, promises of “luxury waterfront living” and “world class dining” have long-time Bronxites asking, “Who exactly is this development for?”Developers have already gone to work on two market-rate housing complexes on the Harlem River waterfront facing Manhattan. Chetrit Group and Somerset Partners broke ground earlier this year on the properties at 2401 Third Ave. and 101 Lincoln Ave., which about the Third Avenue Bridge. Amenities will include a pet care room, ground-level shopping, café and pool.The complexes–seven towers ranging from 16 to 25 stories–will contain 1,700 condos.Residents are pointing to the historic Clock Tower building in Mott Haven as another example of their worries. It’s a former piano factory that was converted into a market-rate housing residence 12 years ago, right across the street from the waterfront development sites. Carnegie, the real estate group behind the renovations, is currently working on another complex right next door. Rents in the Clock Tower building can go up to $3,500 a month, compared to $850 median average rent for apartments in Mott Haven.

Like I said New haven is in the second stage of Gentrification.

posted by: 1644 on October 10, 2017  8:57am

Jc & Lookout:  Yes, somehow 3/5’s has managed to see gentrification in a gritty, blue collar industrial use.  Shipyards are like over-priced coffee shops;  the bourgeois flocks to the smell and noise of grinding, welding, machining, epoxy paint, etc.  :). 
Seriously, I wonder: will this shop complement or compete with MacKenzie,  and how does a public access walkway comport with the dangers, noise, and smalls of shipyard work, dredges, pile drivers and marine construction?

posted by: Dwightstreeter on October 10, 2017  10:15am

LCI should be concentrating on inspections of run down properties and not be in the development area at all. It has too many responsibilities and there is no evidence it is doing any of them well.
To slam the “shanty town” for having people live there illegally and so it was “time to make it go away” shows insensitivity to the hard work and quirky creativity the people there put into their creation. Whenever I stopped by, people were friendly, welcoming and eager to share the little home made park.
A new business is a good thing, but let’s not disparage the people who survived at the edge of the water and created a lovely spot for all to experience.

posted by: 1644 on October 10, 2017  12:49pm

DS:  According to the linked article about druggies and dumpers, “Shantytown” is long gone, and the refuge it provided destroyed by vandalism.  The question remains, of course, what to do with homeless folks, especially substance abusers and the mentally ill, whether they be in Fair Haven, on the Green, or under a bridge by Walker   Rink.  Right now, the city is playing “Whack-a-Mole”,  driving the homeless from one abode, such as a highway intersection, to others.  The fact is, few want them in their neighborhood, so where shall they go?

posted by: Dwightstreeter on October 10, 2017  1:18pm

@1644: While I believe that the failure to build housing for the de-institutionalized mentally ill, along with cuts in federal funding of housing and the economic collapse in 2008, all created the ongoing crisis we see, it is a fact that the City lacks the will to establish long term housing, even when people like Wendy Hamilton show up with a plan that works and the money to commit to setting something up.
  I am saddened when I see people repeatedly dismiss homeless people as less than human beings with hopes and dreams and value. The waterside people’s park was a treasure. I knew it couldn’t last. Fine. The City gets a tax-paying business while Yale and YNHH gobble up more tax free land.
  A genuine leader would pound on the doors of both institutions to open their treasury to deal with this ongoing crisis, not just to “clean up” for graduation so the privileged are spared the sight of those in survival mode.
  I do not hear any one’s vision for solving the problem of people who no longer can cope without a job or a home.
  How many people write checks to candidates and don’t press for an agenda that makes a difference?
  Having just watched Ken Burns’ & Lynn Novick’s 10 part episodes on the Vietnam War, I was reminded how mindlessly most people accepted the destruction and the lying. If anything, most wanted more of both!
    A civilization is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members.
    We have failed. Proof is visible every day of the week.

posted by: abg22 on October 10, 2017  3:52pm

With respect to the easement, a word of caution: it is wonderful for the City to plan in advance for a pedestrian walkway along the waterfront south of River Street, but having a recreational easement is not enough. As we have painfully learned in the case of Farmington Canal Phase IV, the city may have a right-of-way but without an easement specifically providing access for construction and maintenance, the recreational easement is essentially useless. Farmington Canal Phase IV was supposed to go out to bid in 2013. It has been delayed for more than three years while the City has attempted to negotiate temporary construction access with a few property owners along Audubon St. I believe that the LDA for 90 River does provide for construction access…but as the City disposes of its various properties along River Street, the Board of Alders must insist that all of the LDAs include easements that are as airtight as possible with respect not just to access, but also construction and maintenance of a public amenity along the waterfront.

posted by: RhyminTyman on October 11, 2017  12:01pm

I thoroughly enjoy 3/5 attempt to link reindustrialization of a uninhabited part of the water front to lux condos. I know if I was buying a fancy condo would want to wake to the smell of arc wielding and the sound of someone sanding down some sheet metal

posted by: 1644 on October 11, 2017  4:24pm

These Patriot Marine folks truly are the dredgers of our society, yet 3/5’s thinks they are gentry.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on October 12, 2017  8:56am

Great pun, 1644.

posted by: 1644 on October 12, 2017  2:20pm

DS: Thanks.  Those Patriot Marine guys really suck.