City could end up spending $70M for Gowanus storage sewage sites

Expected rezoning likely is increasing land values
November 29, 2017 03:35PM

242 Nevins Street and 234 Butler Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The city could end up spending some $70 million on two Gowanus properties that are intended for sewage storage — roughly three times the land’s price tag in 2013.

The two properties — 242 Nevins Street and 234 Butler Street — need to be acquired either through eminent domain or purchased from the owners. Officials selected the properties in 2015, two years after the Environmental Protection Agency ordered the city to install an 8 million-gallon tank to prevent excess sewage from pouring into the Gowanus Canal, which is a Superfund site. Though the city owns parkland across the street, the de Blasio administration chose to install the tank below the private properties to keep the smell away from the park, Crain’s reported.

The average price for land in Gowanus is $370 per square foot. In 2015, this rate was $285 per square foot, and in 2013, it was $135. The anticipated rezoning in Gowanus is likely driving up prices.

“Anytime it looks like there will be a rezoning, two things happen: There is a tremendous amount of speculation as buyers flood the market, and there is this paralysis for sellers, who want to wait for the rezoning to actually happen so they can reap the benefits,” Dan Marks, a partner at TerraCRG, told Crain’s. [Crain’s] — Kathryn Brenzel