Long Island Developers Taking Storm Risk Seriously

Tree-huggers many of them are not, but there's consensus among Long Island developers that storm resilience is an investment worth making.
September 13, 2017, 11am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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New York City Economic Development Corporation

The unpleasant memory of Hurricane Sandy is bound to be at the top of Long Island developers' minds right about now. Here, Maura McDermott looks at how builders are handling the very real risk of future floods.

"'In a post-superstorm Sandy Long Island, there is a heightened awareness of where the high-risk flood zones are,' said Kyle Strober, executive director of the Association for a Better Long Island, a builders' trade group. 'The 100-year flood storms are happening every 10 years now, and that means only the very forgetful or the high-stakes gamblers are building on the ground level today.'"

Under local and state law, McDermott writes, "developers are required to protect buildings in high-risk flood zones by constructing strong foundations, elevating buildings and electrical systems and using storm-resistant materials, among other measures. But developers say they are going beyond those requirements."

For some, the risk from storms takes precedence over politics. "'The last person you're going to talk about being a tree-hugger is me,' [RXR Realty senior Vice President Joe Graziose] said. 'This is all about infrastructure. At the end of the day, you want to build something that's going to last a long time.'"

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Published on Saturday, August 19, 2017 in Newsday
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