New York City Council member Brad Lander, in an open public letter released Tuesday last week, asked the Lightstone Group CEO, David Lichtenstein, to forgo all plans on its multi-million dollar Gowanus development.
In light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy to low lying neighborhoods in New York City, Councilman Lander of the city’s 39th district, asked that Lichtenstein and the Lightstone group to withdraw a proposal it made earlier this year to the New York City planning commission to construct 700 new rental units on the banks of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.
Councilman Lander is not the only one seeking to halt future development in Zone A, which includes Gowanus, in light of Hurricane Sandy. The Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG) also released a statement asking the City Planning Commission to place a halt on the Lightstone development proposal.
History of Contention
The appeals of the Councilman and FROGG are just the latest troubles developers have encountered in the Gowanus region, which received several feet of water water from Hurricane Sandy.
In 2010 ,the Environmental Protection Agency halted a development at the very same Gowanus canal site due to concerns of early 20th century pollution of the canal.Now safety concerns surround issues of tropical storms and not old factory waste.
Interestingly, as pointed out by critics of Councilman Lander raised no opposition to the 2010 Toll Brothers proposal which was halted by the EPA. Lightstone for the time being remains committed to their development project of Gowanus as indicated in a public statement where in Lightstone states that it will “move forward to build a high-quality, environmentally-sound residential complex.”
With both sides of the aisle committed to their positions, it will be interesting to see who will win this battle. Profits vs. Storm Safety: both are rather important in New York City.