Long List of Concerns for Gowanus Rental Development

More than 100 residents, activists and civic leaders showed up to the Community Board Six meeting last night to express their concerns over the planned 700-unit rental development for Gowanus by the Lightstone Group. The Brooklyn Paper reported that many were concerned the area’s infrastructure cannot support 1,400 new residents. Others were concerned about the polluted state of the Gowanus Canal, now a federal Superfund site. (The Superfund status is why Toll Brothers walked away from the development previously.) Others praised the project for bringing needed housing to the area and opening up the closed-off waterfront, factors the Lightstone Group were stressing too. The apartment complex includes a landscaped public esplanade, storm sewer upgrades, and 140 below-market-rate rental units. Developers are seeking only “minor modifications” to the Toll Brothers plans, which already went through the ULURP process, but many residents want Lightstone to undergo another city review. If Lightstone is able to avoid the full city review, they plan to break ground as early as next September. Update: As PMFA reported, the board requested that City Planning not move ahead with this and that it be tabled until a supplemental environmental impact study is performed, that 30 percent of the housing be affordable, that the height be reduced to eight stores, and that the developers follow the Community Board Responsible Contractor Conditions.
Critics: Gowanus Canal Development Would Be Too Populous [Brooklyn Paper]
Neighbors Concerned About Gowanus Development [Brownstoner]
All the Details on Lightstone’s Gowanus Development [Brownstoner]
New Developer Eyes Toll Brothers’ Old Gowanus Site [Brownstoner]

6 Comment

  • Not only did the community voice their long list of concerns, but CB6 actually agreed with us!! Last night was exciting, and anyone who thinks that Lightstone can get away with this “minor modifications” bs is mistaken. I’m all for affordable housing–bring it on!– but 12-story towers and a high-density apartment complex has no place in brownstone Brooklyn.

  • Its obviously not a minor modification. That’s an obvious tactic they took. You can’t ask for permission in this city or you will be schooled.

    My main concern is that they will build these, and residents will eventually hold the city liable for zoning them and allowing them to move into an area with known heavy dangerous toxins. Someone will get sick (as any percentage of 1,400 people would) and the lawyers will be recruiting to loot our tax money.

    “the area’s infrastructure cannot support 1,400 new residents”. On devils advocate note – I say prove it. Ever been on the 6 train during rush hour in Grand Central? The 1 train on morning commute on the UWS? The L train at Bedford during morning rush? The F train has plenty of capacity. The BQE is also nearby, and the LIRR not too far away. Why are you not protesting every development on 4th Avenue?

  • This really is a case where the NIMBYs are doing the proposed developer a huge favor.
    The liability for putting residence over a superfund site – during cleanup – is mindboggling. I’d really like to know what moronic institution would lend on this project.

  • This really is a case where the NIMBYs are doing the proposed developer a huge favor.
    The liability for putting residence over a superfund site – during cleanup – is mindboggling. I’d really like to know what moronic institution would lend on this project.

  • The infrastructure and current level of services CANNOT handle the influx of potentially 1400 new residents. I’ve taken the 6 and 1 trains, and yes, they’re very crowded, but the 6 trains run so frequently that they’re practically on top of each other during rush hours. Try to get on an F train at 8am and see how successful you’ll be. I had to let three F trains go by yesterday morning at 7:45 am before I was able to get on one where there was room to breathe.

    Don’t forget that the MTA has cut our transit options mercilessly. For those residents who rely on the bus system rather than the subway, the B75 is gone, replaced by the phantom going-nowhere B-57 which drops everyone off at the god-forsaken corner of Smith-9th Street to wait endlessly for the the hopelessly slow B-61. The fact that those two buses and the F/G trains run parallel is irrelevant to those residents who either will not or cannot take the subway for accessibility reasons. The B-71 bus, another life-line to Red Hook/Park Slope/Crown Heights for many residents and school children, was also eliminated.

    The city has closed our firehouse on Degraw Street. A one-minute increase in response times is an eternity if you have an emergency. We have two overburdened hospitals, NY-Methodist and LICH, which was, and probably still is, in danger of closing. Family members of mine have spent the night in the ER due to the lack of available beds in NY-M.

    PS 32 is using half of its schoolyard to house trailers so that classes can be conducted in them, and PS 58 is at capacity, if not over it. Trailers? Really? That leaves private schools, which not every parent can afford.

    I can go on, but you can’t say that our infrastructure is adequate. It is not.

    I’m glad that a new EIS is going to be done. As one meeting attendee said last night, things have changed significantly since the last one in 2008-2009, and these changes have to be seriously considered before any development of this scope is approved.

  • nimby. every town deals with expansion. with actual taxpaying actual voters new busses will not be doable if they are needed. since i take the f train, and have lived all over the city commuting for 20 years, the F train is nowhere near as bad as others (its my train btw). perhaps you should write to city hall and tell them no new residents should be allowed into the city. i’m actually shocked how brooklyners can live in the rapid changing capital of the world, yet hate broad and rapid changes, why not move to westchester or jersey?