2006_11_bklyncrane.JPGThe overwhelming amount of development in Williamsburg and Greenpoint development gets a NY Times write-up today. Not only are residents are getting evicted or priced out of their apartments, construction has been damaging adjoining buildings. Which makes area residents wonder if the Department of Buildings can handle overseeing all the new construction.

Last year, the department issued 24,610 permits in Brooklyn, including 1,924 for demolition and 1,740 permits for new buildings. That was roughly double the demolition and new construction of five years earlier, and it was all handled by 25 inspectors.

William Harvey, 50, an architect who lives on North Eighth Street between Driggs Avenue and Roebling Street, said the city simply seemed outmanned. Standing outside his front door, he pointed to five projects in the works on the block. Two doors down, the message “FDNY DO NOT ENTER” was painted on a red town house to the right of a poured foundation that made the building unsafe. Mr. Harvey said the tenants were forced out last summer.

“We’re in such a huge boom,” he said. “D.O.B. doesn’t have the people power to watch over it.”

The DOB says they have hired 12 additional Brooklyn inspectors and the Department of City Planning says it may be expanding height restrictions to more areas. And the city is tooting its horn about its waterfront development of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, but critics note the city has done a poor job of planning inland housing and meeting with the community to discuss issues.

It seems like the developers will win in the end - the DOB will be alerted when there's an accident and the city will try to make amends, but very few things can stop the cranes. For more on Brooklyn development issues, visit No Land Grab. And this boom probably makes David Langlieb very happy.

Photograph by Brunocerous on Flickr