The Real Deal New York

Some have “vision of Venice” in Gowanus rezoning

City began pubic meetings on rezoning in October
December 29, 2016 09:50AM

Gondola on the Gowanus Canal (Illustration by Lexi Pilgrim by The Real Deal)

Picture it now: Gondolas on the Gowanus Canal.

With a potential rezoning in the works and cleanup efforts underway to remove three-eyed fish and PCBs, city planners are dreaming about what a revitalized Gowanus waterfront could look like. And if not an exact replica of the northern Italian city, they’re envisioning something a lot like it.

“For years there has been a dream of creating a vision of Venice along the Gowanus Canal and it seemed fanciful,” Mitch Korbey, a land-use attorney at Herrick Feinstein told Crain’s. “But now it feels like we’re starting to get our arms around it.”

In October, the city began holding meetings with local residents and businesses. City Council members Stephen Levin and Brad Lander have since spearheaded a study, conducted by the nonprofit Bridging Gowanus, that recommends preserving some industrial jobs, creating affordable housing and large-scale projects like cleaning up the canal.

Big name developers have already bet on Gowanus. The Lightstone Group recently completed its 438-unit rental building at 365 Bond Street, which is 70 percent leased. Last year, Lightstone sold a neighboring site to Atlantic Realty Development for $75 million. Now, Atlantic is building a 268-unit rental building. [Crain’s]E.B. Solomont