City releases proposal to revamp Gowanus 

Framework include upzoning Fourth Avenue 

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gowanus (Credit: Wikipedia)
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gowanus (Credit: Wikipedia)

The city has released its proposal to encourage more residential development in Gowanus, an effort that officials hope will be a prelude to rezoning the neighborhood.

As part of the proposal, Fourth Avenue would be upzoned to encourage redevelopment of the busy thoroughfare and would make the city’s mandatory inclusionary housing program applicable to the area, Politico reported. In exchange for the zoning change, owners would be required to build affordable housing. Fourth Avenue was rezoned back in the Bloomberg administration but didn’t include an affordable housing component.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“The proposed upzoning is perfectly appropriate for a wide street on top of a four-track subway,” said Stephen Smith, co-founder of real estate tech startup Quantierra. “Nearby brownstone owners won’t be pleased, but zoning for more development on Fourth Avenue is a necessary corrective to half a century of no-growth planning in Park Slope, which has sent a wave of demand and displacement crashing over the rest of Brooklyn.”

Funding for the New York City Housing Authority isn’t specifically defined in the proposal — a previous concern among critics — but it does say the city will consider improvement opportunities at the Gowanus Houses, Wyckoff Gardens and Warren Street Houses.

A rezoning proposal is expected sometime next winter. [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel