Sunset Park

Make like a tourist on the Sunset Park ferry to Wall Street

Eye on Real Estate

May 17, 2017 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Here's the NYC Ferry near the shoreline of Sunset Park, on a newly inaugurated route. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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For real estate-obsessed Brooklynites, ferry boats are like amusement-park rides — fun, fun, fun.

And the new Sunset Park ferry service, in particular, gets high marks for the fresh glimpses it gives us of terrific shoreline buildings and scenery. So what if we get mistaken for tourists?

The primary purpose of the ferry service, which began on May 1, is to serve commuters. It enables residents of the Rockaways to travel to Sunset Park’s Brooklyn Army Terminal in 45 minutes and get to Wall Street’s office towers in one hour.

Boat trips are priced like subway and bus fares — $2.75 per ride and $121 for a monthly pass.

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The Sunset Park service is part of the citywide ferry network a San Francisco-based company, Hornblower, is now running.

In its first week of operations, NYC Ferry carried nearly 50,000 passengers, a spokesman for the city Economic Development Corporation told the Daily News.

The commuter thing is very important. But we real-estate nerds also benefit greatly from the creation of new Brooklyn ferry routes.   

We can snap photos to our hearts’ content on the ferries’ wind-whipped decks — while people on their way to work must worry that they’ll arrive with snarled hair if they sit outside.

Speaking of new routes, we’re looking forward to this summer’s inauguration of service from Bay Ridge to Wall Street’s Pier 11 with these intermediate stops: Sunset Park, Red Hook, Governors Island, Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 and DUMBO.

Factory buildings and Brooklyn Heights’ fine skyline

But back to the subject of the new Sunset Park service.

The boats sail in and out of Pier 4, which is near the Brooklyn Army Terminal.  

To get to the ferry dock, head to the corner of First Avenue and 58th Street, then continue west towards the water and then follow a curving road through picturesque old industrial buildings.

We walked there the other day when we tried out the new ferry service.

But you can drive if you wish — there is an enormous parking lot on the pier. There is one caveat, though. Seagulls sit on some of the parked cars and cover them with bird droppings.


There are so many fine sights to admire on the ferry ride from Sunset Park to Wall Street’s Pier 11.

First, Sunset Park’s waterside industrial buildings loom into view. The Brooklyn Army Terminal is very stately when seen from the water. There’s a flash of greenery along the shoreline where Bush Terminal Piers Park is located.

We didn’t bring a telephoto lens, so Red Hook was a little too far away for us to take good photographs of it. But 1860s-vintage Red Hook Stores, which is the building where Fairway Market is located, is beautiful to look at.

The gantry cranes at Red Hook Container Terminal are great-looking too.

Across from Brooklyn’s shoreline, the Statue of Liberty is lovely but just a smidge too far away to photograph. Governors Island is closer. Seen from the vantage point of the ferry deck, the island appears to have skyscrapers sprouting out of it, though of course they’re really in Lower Manhattan.

Then, back on the Brooklyn shoreline, there’s 360 Furman St., which formerly belonged to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and is now the condo building known as One Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Next, there’s the skyline of Brooklyn Heights — a mix of low-rise brownstones and taller apartment houses — with Downtown Brooklyn high-rises in the background and Brooklyn Bridge Park along the water’s edge.

Right before the ferry docks at Wall Street’s Pier 11, we get a good look at the Pierhouse condo complex and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Behind Pierhouse, just a snippet of the former  headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is visible. The complex with the red neon “Watchtower” sign on it now belongs to the company that Jared Kushner headed until he stepped aside to be senior adviser to his father-in-law, President Trump.

The Brooklyn Bridge, and the Manhattan Bridge behind it, both look pretty great from the deck of the ferry.

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