Lightstone Reveals Plans for 700-Unit Colossus on the Canal
by Dave Hogarty
A team of execs and development professionals appeared before members of Brooklyn's Community Board 6 and the public yesterday to present plans for the former Tolls Bros. site between Bond Street and the canal at 1st Street. The project is now going to be rentals, with 700 units instead of the 447 condo units Toll Bros. had planned for the site. Despite the sharp increase in the number of apartments, Lightstone says it won't be going through another ULURP for the site because there are only minor modifications to the planned building's size, with no increase to the building's height, which will top out at 12 stories in some sections along the canal.
The Toll Bros. plan to build 447 market rate condos was seemingly scotched by the designation of the Gowanus canal as a Superfund site. Lightstone's plan calls for a building virtually the same size, but with 560 market rate apartments and 140 affordable housing apartments. There will be retail space along the Bond Street side of the development and community spaces on the canal and 1st Streets. And instead of turning its back on the canal, the Lightstone plan is treating the infamous waterway as a major amenity and includes a waterfront promenade.
Most of the questions from the community board and locals involved the impact of the project on storm drain and sewer systems, which the company replied to with assurances that the plan was drawn up to be a net benefit to the neighborhood's infrastructure.
One local was concerned about the stress that the large development would put on the neighborhood's already-troubled sewage system, and described how he recently had five feet of raw sewage flood his home's basement. At one point he invited a Lightstone exec over to his home the next time it rains heavily in order to experience firsthand the thrill of an in-home sewage pool. "I'll make coffee," he added in an attempt to sweeten the offer.