Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Gowanus 'Renaissance' Considered

Carroll Street Bridge W Snow
We'd be seriously remiss if we didn't mention the story in amNY today about Gowanus that declares "a renaissance" in the works for our namesake neighborhood. The article declares:
Then again, a deep breath and a glance down at the ducks paddling on the slightly rainbow-colored water below also clues one in that this is no "lavender lake" or "perfume creek" anymore either.
The Gowanus Canal, the 1.5-mile long 19th-century link between Red Hook and Brooklyn's interior, has made a remarkable rebound since a long dormant flushing mechanism was repaired in 1999. And although the area's industrial glory days are long past, a renaissance is in the works.

Housing interests are pressing in from all sides as Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill residents are claiming the houses and apartments scattered amid the chop shops, bus lots, scrap yards, warehouses and oil depots that ring the canal.

The blocks around the canal that don't have houses are better known as canvases for graffiti artists, but that is sure to change.

A planned Whole Foods on Third Avenue is inching along toward completion, renovated houses on Bond Street are fetching seven figures and a spirited fight is on to convince the city Planning Department to rezone industrial tracts along the water for housing.
One real estate person predicts that "since the neighborhood is largely free of landmarks, developers see a rare opportunity to try radical, Museum of Modern Art-esque designs." The article also notes that there is likely to be pressure to allow taller buildings near the Canal. We're going to take an educated guess and say the ask could be for a dozen stories or more. The critical planning and zoning discussions will be going on in coming months.

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