Gowanus residents and officials are doing everything they can to prepare the neighborhood for major development.
The area’s legislators, including Representative Nydia Velazquez and Council members Brad Lander, Steve Levin and Carlos Menchaca, plan to release a framework for future development today that will require major infrastructure investments before shiny new residential towers could rise.
The plan is called “Bridging Gowanus,” and it hopes to leverage impending development to fix the neighborhood’s various flooding, sewage and park problems. The framework also lays out a plan for the area to profit from any future rezoning, and create a “Gowanus Manufacturing Zone” to attract potential manufacturers and keep hotels and storage facilities out of the area. The plan also rejects Bloomberg’s Fourth Avenue model, saying that it does not provide for enough affordable housing or retail.
“Those are the goals here,” Lander told Capital. “Some development can be a tool to help achieve those goals, because all those things are expensive and you have to pay for them.”
Back in 2009, the Toll Brothers received approval to build hundreds of condos on the Gowanus Canal, but its development plans were derailed when the federal government designated the murky canal a Superfund site. Mayor Bill de Blasio, then a councilman in Park Slope, supported that plan, as well as Bloomberg’s Fourth Avenue Zoning plan.
It’s unclear whether or not de Blasio will support the community’s framework. [Capital New York] — TRD