Toll walks away from $5.75M deposit at Superfund-designated Gowanus Canal

July 09, 2010 09:00AM

From left: Toll Brothers’ proposed development plans, the Gowanus Canal

As threatened, Toll Brothers has walked away from its $5.75 million down payment on the Gowanus Canal site of a would-be 477-unit mixed-income housing development, because of the waterway’s recent designation as a Superfund site, the Brooklyn Paper reported. “It just didn’t financially make sense to close on the properties and then have to wait 15 to 20 years until we could develop them,” said Toll’s David Von Spreckelsen. Toll Brothers had been in contract to purchase three parcels on the banks of the Gowanus for $20.6 million since 2004, but fought hard against the federal government’s Superfund designation, vowing to abandon the project if it were to be delayed by an Environmental Protection Agency-led remediation, which is expected to cost $500 million. The city had also opposed the designation, arguing that it would discourage more than $400 million in private investment in the area, including the Toll Brothers plans. [Brooklyn Paper]