The center of NY Harbor, during the days of break bulk shipping before and during the Second World War, Erie Basin was once the destination of most of the grains and cereals which the Midwestern United States sent eastward along the Erie Canal. A thriving maritime industry employed tens of thousands, and Red Hook prospered. When containerization entered the picture, and ports with more upland properties were required to handle the shipping containers, Erie Basin declined.
Companies like the O’Connell Organization came to Red Hook with the intention of reviving the area. Today, Erie Basin continues as a maritime center, with tugboats and barges and NY Water Taxi taking advantage of the sheltered harbor it provides. Close to Gerritsen Bay and the Verrazano Narrows, as well as the Kill Van Kull and Port Elizabeth Newark- there’s little confusion as to why Erie Basin is considered a SMIA (Significant Maritime Infrastructure Area) by the Federal Government.
Formerly- Revere Sugar, Todd Shipyards and other large concerns were based around Erie Basin. There were – literally – also brewers, bakers, and candle stick makers who took advantage of the proximity to the sixth borough of New York City- its harbor. The O’Connell Organization is one of the original pioneers engaged in the preservation and redevelopment of the Red Hook Waterfront, and remains committed to the health, prosperity, and future of both Erie Basin and the surrounding community.