Knickerbocker Village, the Lower East Side development still reeling from damage from Hurricane Sandy, is to get a multi-million upgrade to protect it from future storms.
Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer announced a $33.5 million grant through HPD’s Build it Back Multifamily Storm Recovery and Resiliency Program will be put toward sustainable and resilient infrastructure improvements for Knickerbocker Village.
HPD is working with the development as it invests in resiliency projects, and has allocated a portion of the grant – $2.1 million – to reimburse the development for the repair work completed after Hurricane Sandy.
“HPD will continue to provide the critical assistance needed to make resiliency improvements that will leave New Yorkers feeling secure in their homes,” said Torres-Springer.
“Knickerbocker Village has played an important role in the overall Lower East Side community for more than 80 years. I saw firsthand the devastation Hurricane Sandy caused to not only this apartment complex but to this community overall,” said Councilmember Margaret Chin.
“We are grateful for the partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development for providing much-needed funds to help fortify Knickerbocker Village for the next 80 years. This investment will provide a great measure of stability for the hard-working families and seniors that call Knickerbocker Village home.”
Knickerbocker Village was constructed in 1934 and is comprised of a dozen twelve-story buildings with a total of 1,590 apartments, primarily serving low-income households.
The complex of buildings was heavily damaged during Sandy. Surge waters flooded the interconnected basement level to an average depth of 70 inches, and shared boiler room which is located three floors below basement level saw almost 20 feet of flooding.
This flooding completely disabled the complex’s electrical and elevator systems, and caused a 20,000 gallon heating oil tank to float and rip away its piping. Nearly two weeks of pumping was required before the entire boiler room was emptied.
Resiliency improvements at Knickerbocker Village include both structural and electrical enhancements on the interior and exterior of the buildings. The scope of work also includes resiliency items to ensure the continuity of the electrical system in the case of a power failure.
Four emergency generators will be installed to provide the buildings with lighting in common spaces, elevator services, heating, and hot water inside apartments in the event of a power outage.
New main electric services are also to be installed in four buildings and heavy-duty metal, watertight doors will be installed at outdoor and basement entrances.