New Apartments On The Gowanus: Great Idea Or Terrible Idea?

In these crowded, overpriced times of ours, it was really only a matter of time until the Gowanus — Superfund site, noted dumping ground for the city’s filth, frequent punchline — was transformed into a contested-but-desirable site of waterfront real estate.

After a planned condo development was abandoned by another company a few years ago, developers at the Lightstone Group stepped in, taking over many of the permits and switching plans to accommodate more numerous (and more modest) rental apartments on the property instead, resulting in a planned 770-apartment complex on.

Naturally, the same things that attracted the developers (the “waterfront location and “vibrant artistic community and cultural scene”) are the exact same reason many longtime residents are wary of the whole thing.

In interviews with the New York TImes, some residents expressed concern about the edging out of “people making pottery, stained glass, woodworkers,” while others cited concerns that the project would just mean that much more sewage flowing into the canal, along with higher rents in an under-the-radar neighborhood that’s already in the midst of a pricey real estate upswing.

At present, a local community board is attempting to block the project until an environmental review is conducted, a proposal that will be reviewed tomorrow at a meeting of the city’s Planning Commission.

So, as with almost any new development, heavy, legitimate concerns. But still, maybe it could be good?

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  1. So, maybe the residential units are kept off the first floor….Joking aside, this is a great thing for the area. It can only make things better. Who really wants to maintain the status quo (polluted and abandoned in so many areas).

  2. THis is a TERRIBLE idea for the area. This project is being done using a pre-superfund environmental impact statement. The canal should be CLEANED before the development begins. This project is completely putting the cart before the horse and potentially endangerering the health of the community after ground breaks as their has been no health study either.