The New York City Council on Tuesday approved the biggest rezoning of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration just weeks before his term ends. In a near-unanimous vote, the Council approved plans to upzone 82 blocks of Gowanus, a former industrial hub turned affluent residential neighborhood. As the first rezoning of de Blasio’s administration in a predominantly white and wealthy neighborhood, the decision could pave the way for upzoning in similar communities, including the proposal to rezone Soho and Noho, scheduled for a vote next month.
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Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan for the rezoning of Brooklyn’s formerly industrial Gowanus neighborhood was finally approved by the city’s Land Use Committee on Wednesday, after a decade of debate and drama. As Gothamist reports, the rezoning plan, the current administration’s largest, was given the green light after Council Members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, the borough’s Community Board 6, and members of the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice reached a deal with City Hall that includes more investment in public housing and sewer infrastructure.
Credit: Brown Harris Stevens
“From the moment you walk through the door, your mood will be elevated by the natural sunlight streaming in through the grand 16-foot wall of windows,” starts the listing for this three-bedroom duplex in Carroll Gardens. Its abundance of windows is made more striking by their location within several architectural nooks and by the apartment’s double-height configuration. Another perk? it comes with a private roof deck. Located at the ultra-modern Satori condominium, the home is asking $1,398,000.
Rendering courtesy of Marvel Architects/SCAPE Landscape Architects
The city’s proposed six-building residential development in Gowanus will be 100 percent affordable, officials announced last week. The Gowanus Green project, part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration’s plan to rezone the Brooklyn neighborhood, will contain 950 units of affordable housing, with at least 50 percent designated to extremely low and very low-income households. Previously, the plan called for roughly 74 percent of units to fall below the market rate.
The long-awaited cleanup of the Gowanus Canal officially has a start date. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday issued an administrative order requiring the start of the first phase of the project, 10 years after the agency declared it a Superfund site. Expected to begin in September and take 30 months to complete, the $125 million project covers the cleanup of the upper canal and the 1st Street turning basin and involves “full-scale dredging,” according to the agency.
During a Brooklyn Community Board 6 meeting on Monday night, architects, developers, and city officials revealed preliminary plans for Gowanus Green, a multi-building development on a 5.8-acre site at the corner of Smith and Fifth Streets. Once home to a gas plant, the city-owned site has been vacant for decades and was designated as a “public place” in 1974. As the Brooklyn Daily Eagle first reported, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus residents who were expecting that the site would become a park widely panned the new proposal for a series of buildings ranging from a five-story school to a 28-story residential tower.
Photos courtesy of LPC
The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday designated five properties in Gowanus as individual landmarks ahead of the neighborhood’s impending rezoning. The buildings are architecturally significant examples of Brooklyn’s industrial past with relationships to the Canal, according to the commission. “These buildings stand out in the neighborhood as tangible reminders of the rich history of the neighborhood and the Gowanus Canal,” LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said. “They are all inherently connected to the manufacturing industries and institutions that developed around the canal in the late-19th and early-20th century.”
Since taking office, Donald Trump and his administration have been proposing cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would decrease funding for the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal. Declared a federal Superfund site in 2010, the Canal has a major issue with combined sewer overflow (CSO), which occurs when heavy rainfall overtaxes the sewer system and causes stormwater runoff and wastewater to empty into the waterway. As Brooklyn Eagle reports, the city’s proposal to mitigate this issue was to “replace two [CSO] retention tanks holding 8 and 4 million gallons with a 16 million-gallon CSO tunnel running beneath the upper portion of the canal.” However, in a letter obtained by the Eagle, Trump EPA appointee Pete Lopez said that they would instead install two large retention tanks along the Canal walls.
Photos by Rise Media and Devon Banks, courtesy of The Corcoran Group.
Gowanus was until recently brownstone Brooklyn’s best kept secret for loft-industrial living in the midst of a historic neighborhood. Though the secret’s out, homes like this one at 467 Carroll Street embody the neighborhood’s creative spirit and mix of old and new. Built from the ground up and designed by designer/architect Ted Kane in collaboration with the owner, also a designer, this 1,616-square-foot single-family home takes advantage of Brooklyn townhouse living, modern comforts included. Asking $2.7 million, the home is energy-efficient as well as luxury-filled, and the garden is a dream for outdoor living.
Photos by Vanessa DeGarcia, courtesy of The Corcoran Group
If there’s one building that has come to represent the preservation movement in Gowanus, it very well might be the Coignet Stone Building. Built in 1873 as a showroom and physical advertisement for Francois Coignet’s concrete construction company, it was the first documented concrete building in the city. Whole Foods purchased the property in 2005 and built its new supermarket next door, and the following year, the Coignet Buiding was landmarked. After years of neglect, Whole Foods completed a $1.3 million restoration in 2016, listing the property shortly thereafter for $6 million. It’s now back for a hair more, and though a gut interior renovation is definitely required, it’s being sold as a residential townhouse that has incredible potential.