Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Lightstone Development In Gowanus: 25 Piles Done, Over 1000 To Go?


The pile driving at the Lightstone Group's 700 unit development site on the shores of the Gowanus Canal continues to make the life of nearby residents miserable as the sound of steel being pounded into the ground reverberates all the way up to Smith Street and beyond.
One resident commented on the post Construction Update For Lightstone Group Project In Gowanus yesterday and wrote:

"I live five doors from the site and can vouch that the abundant work-from-home freelance and arts community here in the immediate zone is up in arms and suffering greatly. Ditto the many elderly and children home with caregivers. Our house is shaking and sound level is at 58-81 dB. We've been told they will be driving 1200 piles* and there is nothing anyone can do abate the noise because of the fees they've paid the city. It starts legally at 7 am, M-F.
Yes, 1200 piles. After a week they have about 25 done and are said to be getting a second rig going soon."

The commenter explained that the number comes directly from a safety foreman on the site who spoke with another resident. The same foreman apparently said that NYC Buildings Department inspectors are coming every day because of all the complaints that have been called in. Allegedly, the DoB inspectors "told the foreman not to worry about the complaints nor the inspectors themselves as the city was earning so much money from this job from all the permits alone it didn't care about the complaints. He told her there wasn't anything anyone could do to stop the situation. He also went on to add they were expecting a second machine and hoping to drive 50 piles a day."

A second pile driver would move the work along faster, but I cannot possibly imagine the level of noise and vibration that would create.  It remains to be seen if the 1200 piles are just for one of the two sites included in the development, or if that is the total number.  So far, pile driving is only taking place on the site between First and Second Street at Bond Street.  The site between Carroll Street and First Street at Bond Street will need piles as well.

As for the comment by City Inspectors that Lightstsone has nothing to worry about as far as the 311 calls from local residents, it would not surprise me one bit.


Anonymous said...

If they do 50 a day, that's 24 days of driving. I doubt it will be 50, probably will be a couple of months of driving. it sucks, but will not last forever. It si true that fi they are doing it within the legal timeframe, there is nothing the community can do, except get ear plugs.

Anonymous said...

FYI you're mentioned here:

Katia said...

Thanks. Just read it. Brownstoner's commenters are quite harsh, aren't they?

Anonymous said...

Yes, they are. It's one of the reasons I rarely comment or send him tips (you get all of those now).

Katia said...

That is very kind of you. Thanks.

bored at work said...

reeHow about some facts instead of conjecture and hearsay? If someone wants to take the time to go to the Department of Building one can find out exactly how many piles are going to be driven as part of the project. Is it 1000? Maybe. 500? Maybe. 5000?

The city gets a fee for the construction permits based on the square footage of the building, which are paid up front. They are not refunded if there is a stop work order. The claim that the city will not enforce the noise code or the building code because of the fees is not credible. Please see One57 (a huge project in midtown tens of times larger than lighstone), that was shut for months after a crane collapsed there.

Keep calling 311 and make complaints about noise and they are in violation, they will be fined or shut down. Perhaps they view the fines as a cost of doing business, but a total shut down is expensive and not worth it to any contractor or developer.

Ear Plugged in Gowanus said...

Lightstone estimates the pile driving phase will take 7 to 10 weeks according to a PR firm email I received. I agree with 'bored at work', if the noise bothers you, let the DEP know via 311. It is how WE can be heard and it is a legitimate way to let the city know that we understand work must happen, but too LOUD is too LOUD. I would encourage everyone to keep calling. There are additional measures Lightstone can take to reduce the noise beyond the sound blankets and cants on the surrounding fences. There are shroud structures that fit around the rigs themselves. Of course this may extend the driving time so which is worse - duration or degree?

Dann Berg said...

I'm one of those work-from-home types that can no longer concentrate at home, film the videos I need to, or record my weekly podcast in peace.

Learning that there's possibly 1000 more just made me cry a little.

Anonymous said...

So, after a week's reprieve they are back at again. I suggest that we get a group together and go sit at Brad Lander's office, he is the only one that can potentially so something to rectify the situation. But this is utter madness, I cannot work, take phone calls or do anything with this constant pounding.

Post some reply's, lets set up a time to meet ASAP.

Anonymous said...

I seriously can't believe this whining. If people were this entitled back in the day, the subway would NEVER have been built, and forget the Woolworth Building. SO OUT OF CONTEXT.

I live 90 feet from the site, and it's the side where they are driving piles right now. Wake up at a normal hour, put on some music, go to work or a coffee shop, deal with progress and living in the greatest city in the world, and go on with life!

Rocco Rella said...

check out rule S28-102, it specifically say that lowest noise level method most be used when pile driving in a residential neighborhood. LIghtstone should also take into consideration that 2 schools are nearby.
I've called 311, and have written to Brad lander citing these rules to no avail.