In preparation for 700 new housing units along the Gowanus Canal, the site will undergo $20 million of environmental cleanup work, DNAinfo reports. In a deal between the Lightstone Group, a private residential development company, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the cleanup will involve building a protective wall around the canal and testing levels of contamination in the surrounding soil, which was polluted by decades of industrial operations. Not sure that’ll make it into the rental brochures brochures, though.
Among the contaminants are heavy metals and various chemicals, the most threatening of which are polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, which are believed to be carcinogenic. But no matter! Real estate waits for no environmental health hazard! The new residential structures—one of which has already broken ground, on Bond Street—will be afforded lovely views of one another, as well as the soon-to-be-sparkling canal.
It’s for the best that the Gowanus Canal is getting cleaned up, not only for future luxury condo owners but for all of us, especially as more bars and restaurants are popping up on either side of it, not to mention the new Whole Foods. As with so many things in New York, though, it didn’t seem to be much of a priority—either civic or environmental—until deeper, more profit-driven pockets took an interest. Brooklyn’s luxury developers demanded non-poisonous soil, and so non-poisonous soil they shall have! At the very least, maybe it will start to smell better.
Follow John Sherman on Twitter @_john_sherman.