Gowanus Construction Noise Rattles Neighbors

By Nikhita Venugopal on May 21, 2014 8:42am 

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 Construction is ongoing at the Lightstone Group development at 363-365 Bond St. in Gowanus, locals said.
Lightstone Development
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GOWANUS — Loud construction noise from a residential development is frustrating locals who live nearby.

Residents in Gowanus and Carroll Gardens are fed up with construction at 363-365 Bond St., where repetitive hammering to build the foundation of a 700-unit building by the Lightstone Group has affected those who live and work in the area, residents said.

More than 250 people have signed a petition demanding that the construction work — in which long metal poles called piles are driven into the ground — be restricted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. The work began roughly four weeks ago and typically starts at 7 a.m. with trucking and staging beginning even earlier, locals said.

After the petition was started and more than 50 311 noise complaints around the site, according to city records, the Lightstone Group agreed to delay the start time for construction to 8 a.m., spokesman Ethan Geto told DNAinfo New York Tuesday evening.

But the company did not meet all the petition’s demands. Geto said Lightstone had already taken some measures to reduce the racket, such as insulating the surrounding fence, but residents also asked for a “pile sound-deadening apparatus” to quell the equipment’s noise, which was first reported on by Pardon Me For Asking.

The pile driving will continue for the next 30 business days — a slightly longer period because of the new schedule, Geto said.

The noisiest work will be completed first and the construction will shift away from Bond Street as it continues, the spokesman added. 

Elizabeth Kenney, a textile designer and writer who works from her home near Second and Bond streets, said the noise causes her desk and furniture to rattle.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” said Kenney, 47. “It’s really maddening.”

Even four-legged creatures haven’t been spared. Henry, a Yorkshire terrier who belongs to local resident Michael King, is taken to a private dog run each morning so he can escape the noise, King said.

“You’re sort of trapped in here,” said King, 49, an urban planner and architect who said he recorded noise levels from his apartment as loud as 75 decibels, about the equivalent to the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

The Lightstone Group’s permits allow construction from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the 12-story residential building on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, according to the Department of Buildings, which did not respond to an inquiry.

The new development, which could bring more than 1,000 residents to the neighborhood, has had opponents in the past, including City Councilman Brad Lander, whose office made repeated inquires regarding the noise complaints.

While Lander said he appreciates the company’s decision to delay construction hours, he urged Lightstone to keep the neighborhood informed of its work.

“They have more to do if they want to be good neighbors,” he said.

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