South Brooklyn Marine Terminal

Coordinates: 40°39′30″N 74°00′40″W / 40.65833°N 74.01111°W / 40.65833; -74.01111
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Sorters for recycling

The South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) is an intermodal shipping, warehousing, and manufacturing complex in the Port of New York and New Jersey. It is located along the Upper New York Bay, between 29th and 39th Streets in the Sunset Park and Greenwood Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn, New York City.[1][2][3] The site is adjacent to Bush Terminal and Industry City, which respectively lie directly to the south and east. A recycling and waste transfer facility managed by Sims Metal Management is the major tenant. In May 2018, the city contracted partners to activate the largely unused terminal.[4][5][6]

Early ferry service[edit]

Connector from waterfront to 38th Street Yard and the South Brooklyn Railway.

The New York and South Brooklyn Ferry operated a ferry from the Battery Maritime Building (formerly known as Municipal Ferry Pier) to the South Brooklyn/39th Street Ferry Terminal, where rail transfer (to the South Brooklyn Railway) was possible until 1935.[7]

Formerly, a Staten Island Ferry route ran between the ferry slip at 39th Street within Bush Terminal, and the St. George Terminal in Staten Island. The ferry route was discontinued in 1946 after a fire at St. George Terminal.[8][9]

Rail service[edit]

2nd Avenue Yard is located on the marine terminal

Adjacent to the Bush Terminal it is served by car float and transloading activities of New York New Jersey Rail via the 65th Street Yard[3][10][11] which also connects to the Bay Ridge Branch, operated by the New York Connecting Railroad. Rail infrastructure improvements along 1st Avenue completed in 2012 connected the yard to SBMT. Other investments in infrastructure included a new break-bulk rail spur along the 39th Street shed, two new rail sidings for auto rack transloading, and a new rail connection to the SIMS facility at the 29th Street Pier. SBMT is also connected along the South Brooklyn Railway (ROW) to 36th–38th Street Yard. In 2012, the interchange with New York New Jersey Rail, LLC at Second Avenue was refurbished and a new ramp was installed at the 38th Street Yard at Fourth Avenue to allow receipt of new R156 locomotives and other subway rolling stock that are delivered on flat cars.[12]

Waste management[edit]

Sims Metal Management subsidiary Sims Municipal Recycling (SMR) managed construction of a new 11-acre recycling center at SBMT from 2010 to 2013.[13][14] SMR worked with geotechnical engineers to develop structural fill blends using “mole rock” from NYC tunneling projects mixed with recycled glass aggregate (RGA). More than 5,000 tons of RGA were blended with 20,000 tons of mole rock and used to elevate sections of the site by 4 feet, thereby protecting buildings and equipment against sea level rise and storm surges.[15][16]

Wind turbines[edit]

In January 2015, SIMS inaugurated the city's only commercial-scale wind turbine at the recycling center. Built by Northern Power Systems at the cost of about $750,000, the 160 ft (49 m) tall turbine has the capacity to produce 100 kilowatts, or 4% of the center's power needs.[17][18]

In January 2021, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the site would be developed to include a wind turbine assembly plant to be partially funded by New York State.[19] Turbines manufactured there will be used in constructing three offshore wind farms off the east end of Long Island. South Fork Wind Farm, Beacon Wind[20] and Sunrise Wind[21] are projected to be supplied by 2025 from the new plant, built with $200 million in state funding and $200 million in matching grants. Part of a $29 billion 'Green Initiative' plan for NYS.[22] The project is expected to create 1,200 new manufacturing jobs in Sunset Park.[citation needed]

Auto processing[edit]

Auto processing, the customization of imported automobiles, is done at the terminal at a scaled-down assembly plant where much of the work is done by hand using simple tools. Quality control inspections are done, repairs are made, and accessories – such as floor mats, GPS systems, satellite radios, alloy wheels and roof racks – are installed.[23] The facility at SBMT was operated by the Axis Group.[24][25] which filed bankruptcy in 2012. Plans by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to redevelop and expand the auto processing have been bogged down since 2014.[26][27][28]

Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal[edit]

The SBMT was designated as part of America's Marine Highway in 2015. In 2018, Sustainable South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SSBMT) was established and operations turned over the Red Hook Container Terminal operators.[29]

35th Street pier fire (1956)[edit]

On December 3, 1956, the area was the site of one of the largest explosions in New York City history. A fire on the Luckenbach Pier at the end of 35th St reached 37,000 pounds of highly explosive Primacord, resulting in an explosion that killed 10 people and injured 247.[30][31][32]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT) - DOCKNYC". Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  2. ^ "Error" (PDF).
  3. ^ a b "South Brooklyn Marine Terminal". NYCEDC.
  4. ^ "New York City to reactivate South Brooklyn Marine Terminal". WorkBoat. May 14, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "South Brooklyn's Working Waterfront Attracts New Tenants".
  6. ^ "500 Ton Legs for the New York Wheel on Staten Island, World's Tallest, Arrive in Brooklyn". Untapped Cities. October 5, 2016. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  7. ^ "39th St. Ferry". Brooklyn Visual Heritage Project. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  8. ^ "Merchants of Bush Terminal Lead Fight To Restore 39th St. Kings-Richmond Ferry" (PDF). The New York Times. June 21, 1947. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved September 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Leigh, Irvin; Matus, Paul (January 2002). "Staten Island Rapid Transit: The Essential History". The Third Rail Online. Archived from the original on May 30, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  10. ^ "NYNJR".
  11. ^ "Floating Railroad Continues a Proud Tradition". The Seafarers International Union, Atlantic, Gulf, Lakes and Inland Waters District/NMU, AFL-CIO. November 2006. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
  12. ^ "South Brooklyn Railway".
  13. ^ MICHAEL KIMMELMAN (November 17, 2013). "A Grace Note for a Gritty Business: Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, Designed by Selldorf". The New York Times.
  14. ^ "NYC Breaks Ground on $80 Million Recycling Center in Brooklyn". October 29, 2010.
  15. ^ "Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility - Curbside Recycling - New York City Curbside Recycling - Sims Metal Management - Sims Municipal Recycling".
  16. ^ "Sims Municipal Recycling Facility". NYCEDC.
  17. ^ Giambusso, David (January 15, 2015). "Recycling firm unveils city's first commercial wind turbine". CapitalNeYork. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  18. ^ Schlossbergian, Tatiana (January 15, 2015). "In Brooklyn, Fertile Ground for a Wind Turbine". The New York Times. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  19. ^ "Cuomo Announces Wind Turbine Assembly Plant Headed to South Brooklyn Marine Terminal". January 14, 2021.
  20. ^ "Home".
  21. ^ "Sunrise Wind Wins Bid for Large-Scale New York Offshore Wind Farm". July 18, 2019.
  22. ^ "New York City's largest windmill will help power Brooklyn recycling plant". New York Daily News.
  23. ^ Belson, Ken (September 23, 2011). "Far From the Factory, Adding Final Touches". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
  24. ^ "Photo Gallery - PORTNYC South Brooklyn Marine Terminal". Archived from the original on December 23, 2014.
  25. ^ "NYCEDC Signs Lease With Axis Group For 74-Acre Brooklyn Site". NYCEDC.
  26. ^ Samar Khurshid. "Garodnick, Menchaca Set Council Hearing to Review Sunset Park Development Project". Gotham Gazette: The Place for New York Policy and Politics.
  27. ^ Andrew J. Hawkins (January 7, 2015). "Blaming councilman, city ditches $115M project". Crain's New York Business.
  28. ^ "City Pulls Redevelopment Project for South Brooklyn Marine Terminal". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on February 24, 2015.
  29. ^ "See Inside the Reactivated South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park". May 17, 2018.
  30. ^ "Fireboats by Sea and Fireman by Land..." (PDF). The New York Times. December 4, 1956. Retrieved September 3, 2022.
  31. ^ Feinberg, Alexander (December 4, 1956). "9 DEAD, 247 HURT IN FIRE AND BLAST ON BROOKLYN PIER; Luckenbach Dock, Longest in City, Was Packed With Tons of Flammable Cargo HOUSES AND AUTOS BURN Cause of Nine-Alarm Blaze Is Unknown--Damage Is Put at $10,000,000" – via
  32. ^ "Carnage and Heroism: Memories of 1956 Bush Terminal Explosion". New York Times. December 1, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2022.

External links[edit]

40°39′30″N 74°00′40″W / 40.65833°N 74.01111°W / 40.65833; -74.01111