Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Toll Brothers Closer to Approval of Gowanus Project That May Not Happen

January 8th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Just last week we called the Toll Brothers proposed condo on the banks of the Gowanus one of our five rotting corpses of 2009. That’s because we think the project will be approved but won’t be built in the current economic climate. The Toll firm itself so deep in financial shit that Robert Toll is struggling not to get a mouth full. In any case, the City Planning Commission held its hearing yesterday and there’s every indication (surprise) that they’ll vote to approve the zoning changes the firm needs on February 17. The Real Deal has the full story. The City Council will have 50 days to vote on the project after that. The development has mainstream political support but is about as popular among many residents of the Gowanus Canal flooding the neighborhood to the third floor of their homes with raw sewage. Per the Real Deal:

Toll Brothers Senior Vice President David Von Spreckelsen told The Real Deal that the developer is confident it will pass this stage of the ULURP, and Community Board 6 Chairman Craig Hammerman offered a similar opinion. “I don’t think [the City Planning Commission] would have certified [it for ULURP] it if they didn’t plan to approve it,” Hammerman said.

The project would have 460 residential uses, 2,000 square feet of commmunity facility space and 2,000 square feet of retail. It would be elevated to try to avoid being flooded by the Gowanus, which fills with raw sewage during heavy rains. We still believe this is an empty exercise as we can’t quite envision the Toll firm getting financing for canal-side condos right now.

Tags: Gowanus · Gowanus Canal

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 duffy // Jan 8, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Many residents were not able to participate in this PUBLIC hearing as it was held at 10am during the workday.

    If you care to send any statement, however brief, please send to:

    Amanda Burden
    Chairperson, NY City Planning
    22 Reade Street
    New York, New York 10007

    You can reference the following in your statement:

    Re: Toll Brothers, 363-365 Bond Street, Brooklyn

    CEQR No. 08DCP033K
    ULURP Nos. 090047 ZMK, 090048 ZSK,
    N090049 ZRY, N090050 ZRY,
    N09001 ZRY
    NYC Department of City Planning

  • 2 larry // Jan 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Can someone redo that rendering showing a low tide image? Future inhabitants of this project should get a more realistic image.

    (Perhaps when the units go up for sale they will only show then during those few hours each day when the high tide matches this image. )

  • 3 gogo // Jan 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Ya, $365,000 in lobby funds spent on this rezoning would certainly buy any approval needed for this developer.

  • 4 fuzz // Mar 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    this is an interesting issue. i think all of us would agree that the current state of the neighborhood in and around the canal is an embarassment. raw sewage, environmental toxins, urban blight. i say let them have at it – could it get worse?

  • 5 Margaret // May 14, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Dear fuzz,
    Since you obviously do not live in Gowanus, and I DO, what is beautiful about Gowanus – the open space, the historic feel, the low density of the area, will be forever altered by this Toll Bros. behemoth. If you’re giving something away – give it in your own part of town.

  • 6 John // Sep 25, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    i wish it were smaller scale and a less modern aesthetic but overall feel it will help the neighborhood prosper. i dont think abandoned industrial buildings help the neighborhood stay “historic”. c’mon everyone- this is new york, constantly growing.