Williamsburg Construction Boom Ruining Babies' Naps and Walks, Moms Say

By Meredith Hoffman on April 8, 2013 7:02am 

WILLIAMSBURG — With stunning views, shiny amenity-stocked condos and a burgeoning community of young families, the Williamsburg waterfront may be prime real estate — but it's also a baby-raising headache, some moms lament.

Construction on new developments has been disrupting infants' naps and outdoor strolls, stay-at-home parents and nannies say, claiming noise and flying dirt are rampant in the popular young family neighborhood.

"It's annoying to be outside with a baby, it's loud and dusty," said Northside Piers condo resident Vanessa Vellucci, who said construction has put a damper on spring walks with her 1-year-old Angelo and that it recently ruined his naps. "They were power drilling and he'd wake up hearing that dun, dun, dun...the building would almost shake."

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Vellucci, who moved to the neighborhood from Manhattan two years ago, said she and her mom friends steer clear of walking their kids near the construction-filled blocks on North 4th, North 5th and North 6th Streets, as new construction rises from the ground at a rapid rate.

"It's gotten worse lately," she said of the past several months. "When you go to work you don't notice it, but when you're a mom you're walking all these streets every day...You just have to deal with it."

One mother said that construction near her Kent Avenue condo at the future site of an outpost of the popular spinning studio Soul-Cycle had been so disruptive that she resorted to bringing her baby to a cafe for naps.

"I have a mom friend who is currently trying to move out of her apartment due to construction," added the mother, who declined to give her name for fear of repercussions from her landlord. 

And even nanny Magdalena Moreta said she worried over dirt hurting the 4-month-old boy she watches in the seemingly pristine area.

"When there's wind, dust blows in his face," she said in Spanish. "It's difficult, he cries."

Representatives for Soul-Cycle and for Carnegie Management, which is handling its construction on North 5th Street, did not respond immediately to calls requesting comment. 

But residents noted that the problem was more widespread than a single building or two, since the entire Williamsburg waterfront is being rebuilt anew.

"I don't think there's anything that can be done," said Jinnie Lieb, who walked her 9-month-old daughter Astria on Kent Avenue recently and said she also avoids certain blocks.

Vellucci said she hoped the nuisance proved worthwhile once all the buildings were erected.

"I do love the neighborhood, and once it's done it'll be amazing," she said. "But I guess if you move here first, you have to go through the changes."

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