Gowanus Lightstone contractors parking on sidewalk

Parks and aggravation: Canal-side builders leaving cars on sidewalk

Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

This parking job really stinks.

Workers who are building a controversial apartment complex on the banks of the Gowanus Canal are parking on sidewalks, say neighbors, and they haven’t stopped despite multiple warnings and tickets from police.

“They just park on the sidewalks every day,” said Michael King, who lives on Second Street, across from developer Lightstone Group’s still-rising building on Bond Street between First and Second streets.

King has made a dozen 311 complaints about illegal parking over the past two months, which have resulted in cops issuing two fines.

Officers initially met with workers to give them an opportunity to move their trucks off the pavement and away from fire hydrants before laying down the law, but when the problem persisted, authorities began issuing summonses, according to a source at the local police precinct.

Some neighbors also claim the workers have taken to fencing off portions of the street with traffic cones, giving locals the impression they’ll be towed for parking in the public spots — though police say they are unaware of this infraction.

“They’ve taken over the opposite sides of the streets to accommodate wide turns for their trucks, idling trucks bring in supplies, and even their own personal cars,” said Michael McGinn, who also lives on Second Street. “The companies doing the construction seem to think the street is theirs to commandeer as they see fit.”

One of the contractors working on the project said that it has paid thousands of dollars for permits to bring in trucks and supplies, and that all of its parking was above board.

“My gut tells me that whatever someone’s complaining about is something we paid a great deal of money to secure legally,” said Bernard Ruf director of operations for Lettire Construction.

When shown photos of the vehicles parked on sidewalks, Ruf claimed they belonged to another company.

Now, a local pol has stepped in. Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D–Boerum Hill) says she recently spoke with Lightstone, following complaints from King, and the developer promised it would give its contractors a stern talking to.

“I spoke with a rep that told me they’ve heard the message and they’re going to be addressing it with their crews,” Simon said.

But the assemblywoman said she was unaware that any permits that would give contractors carte blanche to park throughout the street and on sidewalks, and is skeptical of Ruf’s claims.

“I’ve never heard of anybody buying permits to park on the street,” said Simon.

Lightstone’s Lavender Lake-side building will contain 429 units plus with yoga rooms and spin studios, and is slated to open later this year. It initially planned on constructing a second, 268-unit structure next door between First and Carroll streets, but sold that project to developer Atlantic Realty for $75 million last year.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Jimmy from Brooklyn from South Brooklyn says:
Take a look at Carroll St. by the EMS complex. Double parking, parking on the sidewalk, parking wrong way, parking etc, etc, etc.
Jan. 19, 2016, 9:16 am
Resident from Brooklyn says:
How can the police enforce against sidewalk parking when they're the chief offenders? Have you ever walked by a precinct? Police cars and personal vehicles are all over the sidewalk!
Jan. 19, 2016, 9:30 am
djx from Harlem, formerly Park Slope says:
"How can the police enforce against sidewalk parking when they're the chief offenders? Have you ever walked by a precinct? Police cars and personal vehicles are all over the sidewalk!"

Jan. 19, 2016, 10:31 am
Jen from Carroll street says:
I almost got hit two nights ago by a car driving BACKWARDS real fast on the sidewalk in front of that EMT parking lot, and since I pass it twice a day that wasn't my first close call.
Jan. 19, 2016, 10:37 am
it's BS from Brooklyn says:
Police have no right to look the other way.

djx- don't forget the fireman and the even more special Triboro Bridge and Tunnel Authority/MTA - Battery Tunnel take over of the street and triangle on Columbia St in Red Hook.

I guess government workers personal cars are more "special" than those they are paid to serve.

Perhaps construction workers are now "up there" with the "special" people.

This city has a lot of undocumented exceptions!!!

More news to expose the inherent flaws of our city please.
Jan. 19, 2016, 11:06 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
Mustafa Khant - I've seen the various PD and FD contracts. Illegal parking is not provided for there. Private contracts can not circumvent laws. You should read those contracts a little more carefully and question your union leadership.
Jan. 19, 2016, 11:26 am
Trollerskates from Moving Target says:
Are people actually expecting cops to ticket themselves?
Jan. 19, 2016, 11:40 am
Alex from Park Slope says:
This is rampant all over and needs to end. Sanitation workers completely take over the sidewalks around their garage in Gowanus as parking leaving no room at all for people to use the sidewalk. Grand Prospect Hall does it too. When they have large events, they use the sidewalk on Prospect Ave as overflow parking. And the cops just allow it. Of course we all know the NYPD is one of the worst offenders. The city needs to crack down on this from the top down. Clearly the cops won't be ticketing themselves.
Jan. 19, 2016, 12:29 pm
Gowanus Gus from Gowanus says:
There have been many other abuses of construction laws from this project. From reckless vehicular traffic (cars going up and down the streets backwards), illegal staging of construction vehicles on residential streets, early morning/late night/Sunday work outside permissible construction hours, to littering by the workers, it's been a bit lawless. And the 311 calls, DOB meetings and entreaties our elected haven't helped at all. There has to be some balances between needing to do construction work and the safe, functioning, afterhours noise-free expectation of daily living in a neighborhood.
Jan. 19, 2016, 3:08 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
This is just the tip of the real issue. NYC development, in general, is corrupt and out of control. Too bad the middle class did nothing when the issues of development needed to be addressed, like Atlantic Yard. Who in their right mind would live near this Federal super fund cite? This is madness. And to add insult to injury, the developer doesn't care about the neighbors. What a shock.
Jan. 19, 2016, 5:43 pm
Make they pay from the other % says:
?#$?/"“My gut tells me that whatever someone’s complaining about is something we paid a great deal of money to secure legally,” said Bernard Ruf director of operations for Lettire Construction."
This looks like more crap than what is floating downs the canal. How do you legally secure rights to do what is in violation of the law?

ALSO: REMINDER THAT LIGHTSTONE WILL NOT BE PAYING ANY TAXES FOR 30 YEARS as announced by their own PR people. They will never pay enough into the common coffers to justify all that they are taking away.
Jan. 19, 2016, 10:03 pm
don't blame LS from in all fairness says:
You give a project to what's required to be a "Licensed Contractor" who becomes the legally responsible/insured party to act/perform on your behalf.

Put the blame where it belongs.

NYC permitted the development and the contractor. So if there's a problem that's not getting addressed, then tell Uncle Sam to fix his fudge up. After all, Uncle Sam is going to get all the new taxes from allll theseee chickens (aka new residents, implants, etc.) enjoy overpopulation as it's only going to get worse.

Go west my friend!
Jan. 20, 2016, 6:29 pm
Han says:
Screw these whiny construction workers. Go back to Long Island, or take the subway to work like the rest of us New Yorkers do. All they do is whine and carp , usually lies and bs they hear about from REBNY. Constantly lying about how great 421-a is , and how building would come to a halt without it. Shut up already. Be grateful. Your industry has done JUST FINE for years. New York City is tired of your spoiled, entitled, crybaby crap. These are our sidewalks. Start puncturing their tires.
Jan. 21, 2016, 5:28 pm
G says:
"Start puncturing their tires"
Real nice, Han
You claim that construction workers are crybabies but you're the one ——ing and moaning about not being able to find parking. Boohoo
March 16, 2016, 3:58 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: