In Gowanus, City Wants 3,200 New Neighbors for Charming Canal

The Bloomberg administration has released new details about its planned rezoning of the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, currently noted for the unappealing industrial sites that dominate the neighborhood. Per an environmental review document (PDF) that went up on the Department of City Planning’s Web site yesterday, the city projects that a rezoning will bring about 3,200 new apartments over the next decade to the area, rising in place of warehouses, industrial and commercial sites, and parking lots.

Assuming that at some point someone in this city will have the ability to build apartments again, the mixed-use neighborhood the city envisions for the northern stretches of the Gowanus Canal would better knit the western reaches of Park Slope with Carroll Gardens. For now, anyone walking from the one stroller-laden Brooklyn neighborhood to the other must pass through a less-than-pleasant stretch as they cross over the Gowanus Canal, which once was used to transport inland the brownstones that make up much of northwest Brooklyn’s housing stock.

The rezoning plan calls for predominantly residential development in the 25-block area—some 3.2 million square feet is projected to be built by 2018—along with about 34,000 square feet of retail, according to the planning document, a draft scope of work for the environmental review.

Also of note: the Department of City Planning apparently doesn’t think much of the hotel craze that’s descended upon Gowanus. The planning document predicts that the rezoning will result in the loss of 177 hotel rooms. (To the surprise of most everyone, hotels have popped up like mushrooms in the neighborhood, as the current zoning allows for hotels among the warehouses.)

The plan calls for buildings to be built up with the greatest density along Fourth Avenue, and as high as 120 feet along the canal–a proposal that has sparked controversy and resistance. The rezoning’s southern boundary is 3rd Street, leaving the portion of Gowanus south of there to remain industrial.

In Gowanus, City Wants 3,200 New Neighbors for Charming Canal