Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Not So Fast, Toll Brothers!

CGNA meeting at Hannah Senesh
Chris McVoy and John Hatheway, architects
Carroll Street Bridge as it is now, sans Toll Brothers development
Toll Brothers' rendering, according to local architects
Hatheway and McVoy is deceptive and out of scale, making their 125 feet
building look more like 85 feet.
President Street
with outline of proposed Toll development
How Smith Street would be altered

If Toll Brothers build 12 stories on one side, it would set the standard for the rest of Gowanus development.  In addition, Toll Brothers' illustrations never fully show the entire height and bulk of their buildings.  This 'corrected' illustration by Carroll Gardens architects Hatheway and McVoy
shows how 125 foot buildings would turn the shores of the Gowanus canal into a canyon.


Last night at the Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association general meeting, architects Chris McVoy and John Hatheway presented their very well thought out alternative to the Toll Brothers Development on a two block area along the Gowanus Canal. After studying Toll Brothers plans, the two local architects are urging Community Board 6 to reject the developers application for re-zoning and special permits. Here are their reasons:

-The Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) is incomplete. It does not provide the analysis needed.

-The Toll Brothers' application is premature. It sets a precedent before the re-zoning of the Gowanus area has been analysed, reviewed and approved.

-The proposed 12 story scale dwarfs the Gowanus Canal and towers over Carroll Gardens' historic core.

-A 7 story alternate design, in scale with the context could provide similar area and affordability.

Hatheway and McVoy told the audience that Toll Brothers' development includes 4 to five story townhouses close to Bond Street, but that along the canal, the height will rise to 12 stories or 125 feet. This is "exactly the same height as those new buildings on 4th Avenue."
Mc Voy reminded local residents that right now, Toll Brothers can not build anything until the zoning for the two blocks is changed by the city from manufacturing to residential. This gives the community lots of leverage. " The developer jumped the gun." McVoy stated.
It was clear from the discussion that followed the architects' presentation that the community continues to have grave concerns about this project.
Residents were urged to let their elected officials know how they feel by writing letters and emails.
Spontaniously, a residential task force was formed to start a petition and to help organize opposition to the development.


Related posts:
Toll Brothers Spent $365,000 On Lobbying For Gowanus Rezoning
Toll Brothers Come To CB6 Complete With Union Entourage

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Where do I sign? If they can lobby so can we with our voices.

and Canyon is right!

a bit off topic but not really.... why do the Dredgers so look foward to canoing through that? I don't get it.

gary said...

Great post Katia. I had to miss last night's meeting, glad you were there to close the gap!

Anonymous said...

Great people in CGNA i love the response from the nabe

Anonymous said...

really great post - thank god for these local architects. How disgustingly slimy to make those buildings look 40 feet lower in their renderings. Unbelievable!!!!!

Chris said...

If there was ever a place to build housing to solve the housing crisis in ny, gowanus is it.

Let them build 20 stories; make 2 affordable housing and make the income from 2 go toward fixing the canal.

Anonymous said...

John Hatheway has a big tall ugly building of his own on Bond Street near third. He has a stop work order, too. What gives, Hatheway?