Restoring the Hempstead Harbor Shoreline, One Sunken Barge at a Time

One of SLC’s most exciting upcoming projects is located in Port Washington at 145 West Shore Road, an oft-neglected industrial site on the Hempstead Harbor shoreline with the potential for extensive environmental cleanup and community development. SLC’s proposed development is intriguing for a number of reasons, including the addition of a publicly-accessible marina and waterfront space, but even more so for its comprehensive $12-15M+ environmental remediation plan.

An EIS, or environmental Impact Statement, has been developed by a renowned engineering consulting firm and provides a comprehensive evaluation of the environmental effects of SLC’s 145 West Shore Road proposal. Two full assessments and a trove of historical data have informed this analysis, which explores the existing conditions at the current site.

Right now, the parcel at 145 West Shore Road shows extensive evidence of diesel storage and spills, abandoned machinery, abandoned vehicles, sunken vessels in the water, dilapidated structures, and the remains of a dilapidated pier, among other hazards. Further investigations on the site have identified pollutants that have contaminated the soil and groundwater, creating contaminated runoff into Hempstead Harbor. 

The story doesn’t end there. There are also extensive signs of lead, mercury, and petroleum in soil samples, and several vacant structures with lead-based paint and asbestos.

Thankfully, SLC is dedicated to spending the time and allocating the resources and expertise to completely transform a dilapidated, polluted, and aesthetically marred stretch of Hempstead Harbor shoreline into a clean and environmentally sound site that’s both habitable and sustainable for generations to come.

In other words, this massive-scale remediation project is one of SLC’s largest community-centric undertakings yet. 

What does 145 West Shore Road look like right now?

In order to look forward with the clearest lens possible, it’s crucial to first understand the current status at 145 West Shore Road.

This parcel of land has been a heavy industrial site used for land and marine construction for more than 100 years. As you can imagine, that’s had a compounding negative effect on the well-being of the land and surrounding water, especially as the rusted, decaying, and polluted leftovers of projects past have piled up over the years.

Here’s a harrowing snapshot of some of the immediate hazards that plague the environment and constitute the first major phase of SLC’s cleanup effort:

  • (3) sunken barges
  • (1) sunken tugboat
  • (1) 900-gallon tank
  • (1) dilapidated, on-shore barge
  • 1000+ tons of PCB-contaminated equipment and scrap
  • 200 feet x 50 feet of sunken dock causing major dredging
  • 1500 linear feet of breached bulkhead
  • Large steel cribbing with carcinogenic paint
  • Contaminated soil has thoroughly polluted all surrounding land
  • Miscellaneous boats, cars, and piles of trash

There’s also a lack of a stormwater infrastructure, meaning precipitation hits the contaminated soil and brings pollutants directly into Hempstead Harbor along with it.

If left unattended, it’s easy to imagine the existing contamination worsening, potentially causing further contamination to the soil and groundwater, which in turn would continue to impact the water quality of the harbor.

Simply put: it’s not pretty. This can be largely summarized as an ongoing pollution of an otherwise peaceful and beautiful parcel of land, but there’s a hazard even more imminent that threatens its waning well-being: as the failing bulkhead continues to deteriorate, the waterfront itself will continue to erode along with it.

How will SLC’s proposed development impact the environment?

Environmental remediation and sustainability are more than moral and professional responsibilities; they’re defining qualities of what differentiates SLC from other developers. Each and every SLC property encourages positive and sustainable environmental growth through green-first initiatives.

SLC’s proposal paints a much clearer and cleaner picture of the parcel’s potential. A reduction in impervious surfaces, landscaping plans that increase vegetative areas, and reduction in water runoff to Hempstead Harbor are just a few of the headlining impacts on the natural environment. Removal of the existing pier structure will also increase the tidal wetland habitat, while installing stormwater infrastructure will improve water quality and wetland health by extension.

Aesthetically, SLC also harbors a deep appreciation for the positive effects of environmental beautification. From an obvious passion for horticulture to meticulous, detail-driven designs, SLC consistently pushes the boundaries of how truly beautiful environmentally-friendly properties can be.

This complete reimagining of 145 West Shore Road represents a full cleanup and mitigation that’s aesthetically pleasing, socially activated, and integrates into the existing setting and community.

How exactly will SLC help remediate existing hazards and improve the environment and community?

The first step in SLC’s dramatic conversion of this area into a habitable site begins with the most pressing task: waste removal. Even after clearing the vast amount of debris in the water, like the derelict barges and tugboats, and safely relocating a huge amount of contaminated soil to a designated landfill, there are still piles of trash, abandoned vehicles, rusted steel cribbings, and deteriorating structures that require safe removal.

This massive landward and seaward environmental remediation is an essential step towards establishing not only a sustainable residence but improving the quality of the greater environment, and by extension, community. 

Once the area has been completely cleaned, tested, and approved, the really exciting benefits of this project start to come into view. 

Familiar with mussel beds? SLC plans to install a full mussel bed farm to re-stimulate the surrounding environment and establish natural ecosystems. Separately, a floating “green life” preserve near the pier and shore will allow wildlife to thrive…and curious locals to learn and explore. 

That’s not the only thing residents and locals can look forward to — SLC is also constructing a brand new 300-foot-long educational viewing pier that will be completely open to the public. This component has been designed specifically to allow safe, anytime access for nonresidents, helping broaden the community and encourage an open, inclusive atmosphere.

Public marina access and transient boat slips will also encourage boat commerce, a lucrative economic stimulator for the area.

A multi-phase project of this scope requires a lot of helping hands, which SLC is making a special effort to recruit from within Long Island. The 145 West Shore Road project will be directly responsible for the creation of more than 400 local jobs–a mix of both union and nonunion workers who have a personal interest in the upkeep of their larger neighborhood.

The future is greener with SLC

Bold but sustainable green initiatives require more than compensating for the past or remedying the present: they need to look firmly to the future. SLC’s environmental consciousness is far more than a necessity. This is where the passion and dedication to a greener and cleaner tomorrow really shines through.

All building materials used in 145 West Shore Road’s construction will be locally sourced, and around 20% will be from recycled materials. The best part? Each component will be 100% environmentally friendly, all while staying well-above safety codes.

Because Port Washington is within a hurricane zone, any construction projects need to adhere to a long list of building compliance codes. As a concrete and steel superstructure, SLC’s project design not only meets all of the 150+ Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) compliance requirements, it also includes high-impact hurricane windows and a first-habitable floor at 21-feet elevation, both well above guidelines.

Inside the units residents will find high-efficiency appliances and utilities, and outside they will see solar energy used to power the common areas and garages, water recycling used for all irrigation, and electric car chargers available to those who have made the leap.

The massive potential for 145 West Shore Road is obvious. The existing site continues to pollute and mar an otherwise idyllic shoreline. SLC, however, hopes to create an incredible new community-bolstering residence that improves, protects, and perpetuates the natural environment around it.

Hempstead Harbor Trail will be continued through the site, literally connecting the new development to the surrounding community in ways it was never before possible. A detailed vegetation plan will manage foreign foliage and encourage healthy, native plant-life. The benefits go on.

The level of thoughtfulness SLC has devoted to reimagining this space is simply unparalleled. Once the EIS substantiates these assumptions, the Port Washington community only has a cleaner, healthier future ahead of it.