Despite Sandy, Brooklyn Waterfront Still Primed for Development

“Several new developments are slated for construction in areas damaged by the storm such as Gowanus, Red Hook, and DUMBO,” writes Nicole Anderson, raising concerns about the appropriateness of development there and proper due diligence.
December 24, 2012, 5am PST | Erica Gutiérrez
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Though climate change and rising sea levels are a newly tangible risk to waterfront properties in New York, “developers have no intention of walking away from these projects” asserts Anderson, adding, “[i]nstead, they say they're taking into account the impact of the storm and re-thinking certain elements of their plans.” The Lightstone Group plans to carry on with a 700-unit development, which will accommodate up to 1,000 individuals along the Gowanus Canal, a designated Superfund site. Company spokesperson, Ethan Geto, responded to concerns expressed by area Councilmember Brad Lander about the project's potential health and safety risks, by stating that the project was designed to exceed FEMA's standards.

Similarly, in Red Hook, two renovation projects proposed by developers Industry City and Alessandro Cajrati Crivelli are still in the pipeline, reports Anderson, with plans to convert buildings into new condos, artist studios, exhibition and retail space. Development representatives assert that they have been taking precautionary measures appropriate for the area's zoning and flood expectations, such as raising mechanical equipment and parking above grade. Developers foresee future changes in policy and permitting processes, but remain confident in the resiliency of the waterfront, and in the robustness of a market for continued development there.

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Published on Thursday, December 13, 2012 in The Architects Newspaper
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