Monday, May 19, 2014

Sign Petition To Curb Excessive Construction Noise At Lighstone Group's Mega Development In Gowanus

Rendering Of Lightstone Group's Mega 700-unit development at 363-365 Bond Street in Gowanus

Pile driving at 365 Bond Street. Photos above courtesy of Carl Teitelbaum


For the past few weeks, life has been hellish for residents who live adjacent to Lightstone Group's 700-unit, 12 story mega development at 363-365 Bond Street on the shores of the Gowanus Canal.  The developer is currently pile driving on the site.  The work is being done by Soil Solutions.
In order to be able to build the development, Lightstone has to bang around 1200 piles into the ground to make it stable enough to build on the site. Work begins at about 7 AM every weekday morning and the noise of steel being pounded into the ground can be heart all the way to Smith Street and Third Avenue in the other direction.

In a petition, Gowanus residents are now asking Lightstone Group to curb the excessive noise by using special sound reducing equipment and to start the work an hour later every day.
The residents are currently circulating the the following petition:

We, the undersigned residents who live, work and have children in local schools in the affected area ask for your prompt assistance with the following:

l. Because of the extensive nature of the pile driving required for this project and the harm it imposes within a large, dense urban residential community, we are directing you to have this work stopped immediately and require the developer employ a pile sound-deadening apparatus, commonly called a 'noise shroud' for all remaining pile work on this site and any other that is to take place going forward in the Gowanus marshland.

ll. We request that the pile driving, once shrouded, be restricted to the hours of 8 AM and 4 PM, weekdays only.


The pile driving will go on for quite a long time. It is important to remember that the Lightstone Project is being built on two city blocks between Carroll Street and Second Street on Bond Street along the Gowanus canal.  So far, Lightstone is only doing construction on the block between First and Second Street. The adjacent block, between Union and First Street will be worked on next.  Piles have to be driven into that site as well.  


To sign the petition, click here.

The residents have also created the Facebook page 'Voice Of Gowanus' for the community to be able to communicate about the Lightstone development as well as issues pertaining to the Gowanus area.To Like Voice Of Gowanus On Facebook, click here.



23 comments:

Anonymous said...

We live and work on Bond within sight of the construction zone and have actually been pleasantly surprised that the noise hasn't been as disturbing as predicted. It was more disturbing when they were driving piles at the corner of 2d and Bond, but now that they've moved away a bit the noise has become really manageable. And we appreciate the fact that the noise does not begin too early (usually around 7:15) and always ends before kids get home from school. Music or TV blocks the sound almost completely for us. We'd rather see the work continue at full speed so it is completed faster.

Bklynebeth said...

Dear Anonymous, Are you sure you live and work within sight of the construction zone? Really? I live at 2nd & Bond and have yet to meet a neighbor who is 'pleasantly surprised' by how manageable living and trying to work in the area is. They are suffering miserably and hoping something is done about it ASAP to lower the noise levels. Your comment sounds suspiciously like the letters residents and our elected's have received from Lightstone's public relations firm - identical in tone and message. If you are in fact a resident, I would love to chat with you out front and find out what brand of Koolaid you are drinking so I can buy some.

Anonymous said...

We can hear the pile driving up on Bergen Street.

Anonymous said...

I can hear the the site at Court and Sackett. It totally drowns out the pseudo-Tyrolian music, which isn't a bad thing.

George Fiala said...

Now I don't remember exactly how someone told me this, and it is just hearsay, but I was told that the city is making so much money from Lightstone from the permitting, that they are closing their eyes (ears) to any possible sound violations.

Anybody else hear this?

Anonymous said...

You can hear it on 4th Place and Court St as well.

Anonymous said...

I live 2 blocks away from the site. I can hear it everyday. Just let me hurry and finish what they need to do. Have them dragging this process is not going to help anyone.

Katia said...

I would like to pint out to everyone that all new construction along the Gowanus canal will need similar piles. If our politicians have their way and the Gowanus corridor gets rezoned to allow similar residential developments, we will be dealing with pile driving for the next few years.

Just want people to be aware of what it all means.

Anonymous said...

Not sure how construction noise can be avoided if construction permits are granted. Sound barriers may help, but won't eliminate the noise.

Anonymous said...

At this point dragging it out isn't going to make it better, just longer. The ship has sailed on construction in the Gowanus. This is only the first of many large buildings that are going to go into that area.

Anonymous said...

From your keyboard to... 11:11AM. You must be privy to information that the public is not. Is Brad Lander's Bridging Gowanus just a charade as many of us suspect? I say bring on the development because Kaching! for me if I ever decide to sell. I think it's cute how people try convince others that more development means lower costs.

No one is trying to delay the project. Starting pile driving an hour later should have minimal impact on Lightstone's construction timetable. But what is wrong with setting a precedent and putting future developers on notice that they need to be respectful of the surrounding community especially the elementary school children. A later start time and sound dampening materials is not too much to ask.

Anonymous said...

I just walked over to Fifth Avenue and could hear the pile driving on Garfield and 5th. I wonder if Park Slope is complaining too.

bored at work said...

fwiw, I live on the block of DeGraw between Smith and Hoyt and dont hear a thing.

I would suggest that a petition is pointless. If possible, try to work directly with the owner or his representative/pr firm.

Either they are within the parameters set by the Department of Buildings for their work and the noise code or they arent. Call 311 if you suspect they are not.

Construction without a variance is allowed between 7 am and 6 pm Mon-Fri. Work is not permitted outside of these hours. To suggest that they voluntarily reduce their work hours will cost the developer and make the pile driving last much longer. Why would they do that? Do you think they care? They are only in it for the $.

Anonymous said...

CB6 and surrounding neighbors -- you all should be rolling out the red carpet for Lightstone. They're taking on an expensive, difficult, terrible site and making it better. I live nearby, but not so near that i hear the piles. while nobody loves pile driving, i think the design is attractive (as these things go) and the new residents in our community will bring in fresh new energy. Bring it on! (But lightstone, do your best to respect the people living across the street from you.) No petition necessary.

Anonymous said...

I find it curious that people would try to dissuade our fellow neighbors from circulating a petition and being active community members. Maybe start your own petition advocating Lightstone go back to their original 7AM start time. It became quite clear that without this community engagement, Lightdtone would have kept their 7AM start time. If you do not hear the pile driving or your home is not vibrating then you probably don't care and those that don't care might later when they are unable to enroll their child in a nearby school or the subway platform becomes dangerously crowded.

brooklynmf said...

Anonymous 10a...really? Rolling out the red carpet for Lightstone?

It is difficult to guess whether you ARE Lightstone, just like being contrarian, or are just ignorant. The project is no more expensive, difficult, or terrible than any other...thus why Toll Bros jumped on it and others line up for each block.

Making it better? Massive quantities of high-income housing in a flood zone doubling outflow into overflowing sewers and doubling inflow into overflowing schools is not better. If you want my NIMBY whine it would be the entirely out of code shadowing of an historic district, which we would all be completely comfortable with if it were needed low-income housing from the city.

Last, "new residents in our community will bring in fresh new energy?" Is the 100% growth in population in the community in the last decade insufficient new energy?

bored at work said...

@11:13 - Please.

I think you are missing the point. This development is coming. The petition is not asking Lighstone to walk away from the site, or to reduce the size of their building(which they would never do).

Perhaps the petition can convince Lightstone to be more sensitive to the community in re. noise and vibration. But, its asking them to act against their own self-interest. That's generally not a formula for success.

I never advocated against organizing or petitioning as a community against out-of-scale development or spot-zoning. But it is tilting at windmills to continue to fight the project per se. Make sure they live up to the building code and the noise code.


Nikhita Venugopal said...

An update on the story. The Lightstone Group agreed to begin construction at 8 am instead of 7am. http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20140521/gowanus/gowanus-construction-noise-rattles-neighbors

Anonymous said...

At the corner of Second and Bond the noise is life-changing in a really bad way. It deafens any conversation in my home and shakes my entire apartment such that a 3 foot tall vase rattles back and forth. Lightstone group should take every measure possible to make this more bearable -- including returning phone calls from neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Hey bored at work, 11:13 here. Looks like the community pressure and petition worked and Lightstone has agreed to begin work at 8AM.
I'm not sure why you bring up the scale of the project or spot rezoning (which this is not as it was part of City Planning's rezoning which they tabled after the canal was placed on the national priorities list) as those issues have been long settled. If those are your concerns for future developments then I hope you have been attending the Bridging Gowanus meetings. Lightstone has set a precedent and in all likelihood the next developments will be even larger.

Anonymous said...

If the city doesn't set standards for sound control by requiring by requiring pile drivers to use quality noise shrouds when working in the swamps near a dense residential environment, then is is going to be HELL for everyone in Gowanus for the next ten years should the city grant development rights to the remaining swamp lands of Gowanus. Lightstone is driving over 1200 piles to keep their steel & glass structure from sinking into the swamp land. This is not land well suited to this type of building.
And does anyone know how the salt water soaked marshland will treat those steal piles over the years? Will the build be sound in 50 years as the ocean over takes more of the marsh?

Anonymous said...

4:14pm - wouldn't it be the same as Battery Park City? I am not a fan of Lightstone, but a LOT of NYC is built on former waterways.

Anonymous said...

NOT AT ALL LIKE Battery Park City, Lightstone is building on an inland estuary, it is all sandy earth with none of the bedrock that makes Manhattan Island capable of holding massive structures.

Just watch the Lightstone piles go into the soil. A few bangs from the equipment and you can see the pile go down a foot or two, but watch a few more hits and the pile suddenly slips a much further, as if there is no resistance in the earth. There is a reason they are putting in over 1200 piles for the project, numbers are expected to compensate for piles that just don't hold in the soil.