The Lightstone Group is moving forward with plans to build a massive 700-unit apartment complex on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, and Hurricane Sandy is making this look like a really crappy (get it?) idea. Pardon Me For Asking posted the above photo, showing the exact location of Lightstone's site at First and Bond Streets at 10 a.m. this morning. As you can see, it's already flooded with that lovely, sewage-filled Gowanus water, and the worst is yet to come.
UPDATE: A rep for Lightstone Group sent over the following updates to clarify the above photos, as the company believes that PMFA is "a biased blog that has bitterly opposed the proposed Lightstone residential development on the Gowanus Canal," and "its publisher/commentator has played an active role personally and politically in opposing the project at several public forums" As such, the rep outlined a few myths vs. facts that the photos and above post may portray:
Myth: The Project doesn't account for climate change and rising sea levels and will be at significant risk for flooding if and when sea levels rise. Fact: The esplanade and all residential spaces for the project are being specifically designed to take into account potentially rising water levels. Current mean high water is at 0.34' and the esplanade and all habitable spaces are at 8.9' above mean high water. The worst case "Arctic Melt" scenario described in the City of New York's 2009 Climate Risk Information Study would still result in the project standing approximately 4 feet above mean high water.
Indeed, the Lightstone development's mandated environmental infrastructure will help reduce the impact on the neighborhood from CSOs in this kind of a storm:
Myth: The project will aggravate Basement Flooding
Fact: The proposed infrastructure improvements would capture 100 percent of storm water from the project site, clean it and channel it into the Canal. Storm water from portions of Bond Street and possibly the adjacent EMS facility would also be diverted to the Canal. These improvements would result in a net reduction in the volume of water entering the Bond Lorraine sewer. Moreover, the more intensive the storm—and presumably basement flooding is occurring in the more intensive storms--the more positive the impact from the project's diversion of stormwater away from the neighborhood and into the Canal. Thus, the project would not have any negative impact on the local community's sewer system back-up issues. This would be in addition to the sewer capacity improvements at the DEP pumping station upstream which are expected to reduce CSO discharges and events in the canal by about 34 percent.