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Glen Cove breaks ground on new ferry to lower Manhattan

Glen Cove officials broke ground Tuesday on a long-awaited ferry terminal expected to serve 140-passenger boats between Glen Cove Creek and lower Manhattan.

About $11 million in federal stimulus funds will be used to pay for the first phase of the terminal project. A Westhampton Beach firm, Chesterfield Associates, will build a dock and move bulkheads. Ferries could begin running as early as next year.

A boathouse and restaurant may be built later. City officials hope the terminal will become part of a planned waterfront rebuilding project, which would include condominiums, stores, offices and parks.

Developers from RXR Realty, which is overseeing the waterfront project, joined Mayor Ralph Suozzi and other local officials for the ceremony.

The terminal is "an important step in the rebirth of our waterfront," Suozzi said.

Scott Rechler, the chief executive of RXR Realty, underscored the broad expectations placed on the ferry terminal. "It needs to be an economic engine that creates tax revenues and creates jobs . . . that takes us through the next century," he said.

Glen Cove last had a ferry in 2002, with three round trips daily to lower Manhattan. It stopped service the following year because of low ridership.

This time around, Glen Cove plans to use smaller ferries and anchor the terminal to the planned waterfront development.

It is not known yet how much a trip would cost.

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