City eyes Gowanus Canal as the next ‘Little Venice’

Posted On Thu, December 29, 2016 By

Posted On Thu, December 29, 2016 By In Gowanus, New Developments, Urban Design

Rezoning and the promise of public right-of-way on the west Brooklyn Superfund canal could bring an esplanade like Williamsburg’s, a recreation area and lots of new development. The light-industrial zone wedged between pricey Park Slope and Carroll Gardens hasn’t accurately been a polluted flyover zone for decades, but the fact that it now boasts a flagship Whole Foods with a rooftop farm hasn’t gone unnoticed. As 6sqft reported recently, the canal-side enclave, despite the sometimes-fragrant waterway in its midst, is on a par with its neighbors as one of the city’s most expensive neighborhoods. Now Crain’s tells of rezoning plans and lucrative developments that could open the door for a public esplanade and waterfront amenities like those along the Hudson and the East River.

365 bond gowanus
363-365 Bond Street, via Lightstone Group

Rezoning plans for the area have long been in the works, along with a detailed community-designed blueprint, spearheaded by the nonprofit group Bridging Gowanus, that outlines the shape the rezoning should take; residents have expressed concerned that rezoning could lead to “a bonanza of high-priced luxury housing.”

New York city councilman Stephen Levin and fellow councilman Brad Lander helped complete a three-year study on how to best use the rezoning opportunity. The resulting report recommends preserving manufacturing and commercial space and creating incentives for developers to help implement big infrastructure projects like cleaning up the canal, installing flood protection and adding more affordable housing. The rezoning plan moved forward in October with a series of community meetings in which those topics were covered.

Though the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal was designated a Superfund site by the EPA in 2010, luxury developments like Lightstone Group’s $350 million “Paris-on-the-Gowanus” at 365 Bond Street have prospered; the 438-unit building, where market-rate apartments start at over $2,000 a month for a studio and over $3,000 for a one-bedroom, is 70 percent leased, and the developer sold the neighboring land to Atlantic Realty Development for $75 million for a 268-unit rental building. It’s not much of a trip from Paris to Venice (either the Italian or LA version), where canals don’t always smell good but housing is lovely and expensive and tourists stroll and sip wine in canalside cafes.

tour the gowanus canal, Brooklyn Atlantis Project
Kayaking on the Gowanus

Developers have long dreamed of “revitalizing” the low-rise light industrial zone; Crains quotes land-use attorney Mitch Korbey of Herrick Feinstein: “For years there has been a dream of creating a vision of Venice along the Gowanus Canal and it seemed fanciful, but now it feels like we’re starting to get our arms around it.” You can get an even earlier start by touring the canal by canoe.

The Department of City Planning is currently drafting the rezoning plan, and it’s anyone’s guess how much influence the Bridging Gowanus blueprint will have; details are expected to be released in the coming months, though getting approval in 2017 would be “ambitious” according to Levin.

[Via Crains]

RELATED:

Tags : , , , , ,

Neighborhoods : Gowanus

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Brooklyn cheesemongers to open their underground 1850s brewery tunnels for one night

    Brooklyn cheesemongers to open their underground 1850s brewery tunnels for one night

    Thirty feet below street level, Benton Brown and Susan Boyle of Crown Finish Caves age their deliciously moldy wares in ...
  • Explore historic LGBT sites in NYC with this interactive map

    Explore historic LGBT sites in NYC with this interactive map

    To broaden people’s knowledge of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community’s history in New York City, the NYC LGBT ...
  • ‘Cash Cab’ will return later this year; Paul Manafort’s shady NYC real estate dealings

    ‘Cash Cab’ will return later this year; Paul Manafort’s shady NYC real estate dealings

    New York-based designer (and 13-year U.S. citizen) Karim Rashid said he had a “crazy journey” getting by US Border Control at JFK. ...
  • ‘Fearless Girl’ statue will remain on Wall Street for another year, but officials say that’s not enough

    ‘Fearless Girl’ statue will remain on Wall Street for another year, but officials say that’s not enough

    Image via Metro / Getty The drumbeat for making the statue of Fearless Girl a permanent fixture in Lower Manhattan ...
  • Investor flips Trump’s childhood home for double what he paid, likely selling to Chinese buyer

    Investor flips Trump’s childhood home for double what he paid, likely selling to Chinese buyer

    When Manhattan real estate mogul Michael Davis bought Donald Trump’s childhood home sight-unseen for just under $1.4 million in December, he ...
  • ‘Narnia’ apartment in Park Slope has a hidden door and built-in swing

    ‘Narnia’ apartment in Park Slope has a hidden door and built-in swing

    The listing calls this apartment a “gateway to a modern version of Narnia”–and it’s hard not to agree. A designer ...
  • 15 indoor air-purifying plants for your apartment or home

    15 indoor air-purifying plants for your apartment or home

    Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big ...
  • Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are bringing sexy back to Tribeca with new penthouse buy

    Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel are bringing sexy back to Tribeca with new penthouse buy

    Although Justin Timberlake was spotted scoping out an $18.5 million Greenwich Village penthouse last month, he chose Tribeca to call home ...
  • First look at the interiors of Waterline Square’s trio of towers

    First look at the interiors of Waterline Square’s trio of towers

    As 6sqft reported in November, a trio of glassy residential towers is rising on the five-acre waterfront site between West 59th and ...
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater lookalike asks $3.5M in Greenwich, CT

    Frank Lloyd Wright Fallingwater lookalike asks $3.5M in Greenwich, CT

    Designed by local architect Dimitri Bulazel, this 4,675-square-foot four-bedroom home at 51 Pecksland Road in Greenwich, CT was clearly inspired by Frank ...
  • Elegant co-op in an UES mansion still has its original leaded casement windows

    Elegant co-op in an UES mansion still has its original leaded casement windows

    This two-bedroom co-op occupies the parlor and garden floors of 4 East 82nd Street, a stately Carnegie Hill mansion. Despite ...
  • Kickstarter campaign raising $10,000 for a 15-foot inflatable ‘Trumpy’ rat

    Kickstarter campaign raising $10,000 for a 15-foot inflatable ‘Trumpy’ rat

    As a symbol of resistance to the Trump administration, Chelsea-based contemporary art gallery BravinLee created a Kickstarter to raise $10,000 ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.