Building On The Gowanus Is “A Serious Mistake,” Says City Councilman

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  • Lightstone Group

A while back, we wrote about the possibility of swank condos on the banks of the Gowanus. Some people are into it, some people aren’t, and all of this was planned before a massive storm rolled in and highlighted everything that could ever, possibly be wrong with developing there.

As such, City Councilman Brad Lander has now sent a scathing open letter to the developers at the Lightstone group calling their current plans for condos a “serious mistake” and warning that he’ll use his clout to encourage the City Planning Commission to reject their application. A few of the harsher sections:

“Hurricane Sandy brought an unprecedented storm surge that inundated waterfront
neighborhoods, caused billions of dollars in damage, and left tens of thousands of New Yorkers without electricity, heat, or safe shelter. Within my district, many of those most impacted by the storm live and work near the Gowanus Canal, which overflowed its banks and flooded neighboring homes and businesses [...]

I believe it would be a serious mistake for you to proceed as though nothing had happened, without reconsidering or altering your plans, and putting over 1,000 new residents in harm’s way the next time an event of this magnitude occurs.”

Lander also noted that there was flooding specifically on the intended building site, but did extend an offer to work with developers to re-shape plans, so hey, he’s only sort of throwing down a huge gauntlet. Should be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out.

Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.