Lightstone responds to CB 6 vote; to offer free space to Gowanus Dredgers

Saying he was gratified by the 27-4 vote by Community Board 6 to conditionally approve The Lightstone Group’s proposed Gowanus Canal development, Kasra Sanandaji, senior vice-president, said he believed the firm has proceeded “with total transparency and has been responsive to the community’s concerns.”
Received too late at the offices of the Brooklyn Eagle on Monday to be included in yesterday’s edition, Sanandaji also wrote the following about CB 6’s demand for a full Environmental Impact Statement:
“Despite the ‘minor modification’ status of the project, and contrary to misrepresentations made by opponents, a full environmental analysis was undertaken as required by the NYC Department of City Planning.”
He noted that the proposed development “adds no square footage, builds no taller and will stay 100 percent within the zoning envelope” already adopted in the ULURP for the Toll [Brothers] project in 2009 and, according to NYS criteria, will have “no negative environmental impacts” on local schools, sewers, open space, view corridors or any of 19 categories analyzed.”
Sanandaji also noted — as CB 6 did in its resolution — that the EPA has expressed full support for Lightstone’s environmental remediation plan.
He also included a long list of reasons why the plan is a desirable one. Following are just a few of those reasons:
• The project will convert what is currently “a litter-strewn trailer truck parking lot, an abandoned warehouse, a mostly unused warehouse and other underutilized land.”
• The project will not displace one artist or business (the one artist who worked at the site already has found an alternative work space).
• The project will provide 140 affordable homes that will be fully integrated into the same buildings with the market rate units.
• The affordable housing program will be run by the Fifth Avenue Committee, a widely-respected developer and manager of affordable housing.
• Lightstone will create a landscaped and fully-accessible 3/4-acre public park and esplanade fully accessible to neighborhood residents.
• There will be a comprehensive environmental remediation of nearly two city blocks along the canal to include new storm sewers.
According to Sanandaji, the company is also committed to providing a permanent rent-free space — including a boathouse and a launch site — for the Gowanus Dredgers.