Who would want to live on the shores of a Superfund site? Maybe the better question is, who would want to own a place on one?
Toll Brothers killed their plan to build a new housing complex on the Gowanus Canal two years ago when the U.S. Enviornmental Protection Agency decreed the canal was toxic, despite protests and counter-proposals from the Bloomberg administration. That is why the news earlier this month that the Lighthouse Group was going to develop the site was so surprising. But part of the developer’s secret appears to be hundreds more units and renting them rather than selling them.
The seven-year roller coaster ride that has been Whole Foods’ Brooklyn saga may be taking another nose dive. The blissful ride started in 2005, long before Brian Williams had ever heard of Brooklyn. It slowed to a snail’s pace in 2007 and then completely halted in 2008 in the midst of the grotesque Gowanus Canal’s Superfunding. New York State was nice enough to clean up the property and set Whole Foods back on track in 2010.
The whole ordeal has left us twisted and nauseous from the bureaucratic and communal ups, downs, and loop-de-loops. (Or maybe the toxins are making us nauseous.) Regardless, Whole Foods might be one rubber stamp away from approval, but the Gowanus locals are not succumbing without one last fight.