At last: Gowanus rezoning to begin in January

Developers and investors have been snapping up properties in the Brooklyn neighborhood for years

TRD New York /
Oct.October 02, 2020 10:09 AM
From left: City Council member Stephen Levin, Mayor Bill de Blasio,  Housing and Economic Development's Vicki Been and City Council member Brad Lander (Getty)

From left: City Council member Stephen Levin, Mayor Bill de Blasio,  Housing and Economic Development’s Vicki Been and City Council member Brad Lander (Getty)

The long-awaited rezoning of Gowanus finally has a start date.

New York City’s housing czar, Vicki Been, announced the city would restart community engagement for the rezoning of the Brooklyn neighborhood in January 2021, during a webinar hosted by political magazine City & State, Brooklyn Paper reported. The rezoning would later have to pass through the city’s seven-month uniform land use review process. The elected officials most invested in its completion — City Council members Stephen Levin and Brad Lander, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio — are all term-limited in 2022.

Despite a string of recent rezoning setbacks, Been is intent on proceeding with the Gowanus plan. It could create as many as 8,000 residential units, 3,000 of which would be affordable based on area median income.

In a recent interview, Lander said he brought a framework for the rezoning in 2014 or 2015, but it has been plagued with delays ever since. One sticking point for the council member is a community agreement that would guarantee upgrades for the area’s public housing complexes in exchange for the boon for private investors, who have been investing in the area for years in anticipation of a rezoning.

“We simply cannot build a shining new mix of market-rate and affordable housing, while leaving the overwhelming majority of low-income residents and people of color who live in the area today in dilapidated and deteriorating buildings next door,” said Lander in a joint statement with Levin Thursday.

[Brooklyn Paper] — Georgia Kromrei


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