Developer Files for Nine Story Building on Toxic Lot Across from Greenpoint Superfund Site

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The corner of Clay and Commercial Streets, where a nine-story building will go up on a lot marred by toxic chemicals (Paul Stremple/Bklyner)

GREENPOINT – Developers have filed for a new nine-story residential building in North Greenpoint, above a toxic plume of phthalates that has leaked from the Nuhart Site across the street.

At the end of 2018, plans were filed with the Department of Buildings (DOB) to construct a new nine-story building at the corner of Clay and Commercial Streets in Greenpoint. Consisting of 27 units within the nine stories, the new building will have a restaurant on the ground floor and three enclosed parking spaces, but no affordable units.

The building will cover a series of three small lots owned by Nicholas Minetta of Rimani Realty, developed as one with an address at 50 Commercial Street. Filings were made for the project on December 20, though they were initially rejected on Christmas Eve for lack of complete drawings and are now in the process of being approved.

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The lot, behind the green fencing to the left, is directly across the street from the Nuhart Superfund Site (Paul Stremple/Bklyner)

But what remains to be seen is what the developers plan to do about the hazardous conditions at the site. Directly across the street is the former Nuhart plant, a Superfund Site which has leaked toxic plasticizers into the ground in two major plumes.

One of those plumes, to the north, runs across the street and into the lot at 50 Commercial, according to a map from North Brooklyn Neighbors, a local environmental organization providing technical assistance on the development of the Nuhart Site through a Department of Environmental Conservation grant.

A map of neighborhood environmental hazards shows a plume of plasticizers that extends into the property (Via North Brooklyn Neighbors)

Due to the lot’s designation as an environmentally hazardous site, plans for the project will most likely require a review from the Office of Environmental Remediation. Rimani Realty did not immediately respond to an inquiry about plans for developing the site safely.

A representative from North Brooklyn Neighbors said their organization “generally supports the most extensive clean up while minimizing public impacts and disruptions and calls for clear and open dialogue from the developer with neighbors.”

“We’re also disappointed that the proposed 27 unit building has not set aside any affordable apartments,” they added. “We do not need more exclusively market-rate buildings in the neighborhood.”

Development of the Nuhart Site has been a major topic of concern for Greenpoint neighbors, who have worked with the city and local politicians to convene a number of meetings addressing the ways in which developers will keep residents safe from toxic chemicals while remediating the site.

Nearby, the potential site of a new grade school to the west of Nuhart, at Franklin and Dupont, has worried local parents and prompted meetings exploring the relocation of the school.

And it’s not the only site in the area that’s applied for new construction as 2018 closed out. Just to the north, the Greenpoint Landing project has filed for a new 31-story residential tower at 1 Bell Slip, which will join the completed tower at One Blue Slip and another high-rise which is under construction and rapidly climbing into the sky over the waterfront.

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