For now at least, IKEA is prepared to give a proper Swedish welcome to a concrete company expected to settle next door to its Red Hook superstore.
“If this is going to be a responsible neighbor that is going to be environmentally responsible, it is not for us to dictate what the use should be,” said Joseph Roth, a spokesperson for the home furnishings giant.
“You have to trust that people will act appropriately and respectfully, and we plan to trust that,” he continued. “If that is not the case, than I’m sure we won’t be the only ones speaking up.”
Texas−based U.S. Concrete is planning to open a plant at Columbia and Halleck Street, across from IKEA’s massive 346,000−square−foot store. The company is expected to produce 1,000 cubic yards of concrete a day, which could mean a veritable armada of trucks and concrete mixers rolling through the neighborhood, critics contend.
U.S. Concrete, a publicly traded company which has seen its share price fall 63 percent in the past year, has reportedly vowed that its Red Hook plant will be among the most environmentally friendly in the city. The company noted that the trucks it will use are common in the area already, as there exist several plants already nearby.
“We would expect them to be as good a neighbor as we would be to them, or anyone else,” Roth said, adding his company would ultimately endorse “whatever the local community embraces.”
John Quadrozzi, Jr., president of Quadrozzi Concrete, is hardly awaiting the company’s arrival with open arms. He said U.S. Concrete is entering a fairly stable market — albeit an incredibly depressed one — and will likely disrupt it. Already, Quadrozzi said, he said he is hearing that the company is offering its product at a 15−20 percent discount from the prevailing price. “These guys will be pretty reckless with pricing and hurt guys that have been here for years,” he said.
U.S. Concrete spokesperson Vonna Newsom said the company had no further comment or additional details to provide.
©2009 Community News Group
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