Thursday, February 28, 2019

"The Gowanus Is Dirty": New Web Site Highlights Why Neighborhood Rezoning Is Dirty Politics

A new informative web site with the clever address  just went live and if you live in Gowanus, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Park Slope, you should check it out.
The web site's aim seems to be to keep the community in the loop on the proposed rezoning that will line the Gowanus Canal area with 22-story buildings and will bring an approximate 20,000 new residents to the area.
The so far- anonymous owners of the site call the rezoning "dirty politics' and back up the claim with several facts:

Fact 1: from The Gowanus Is Dirty::
As part of the New York State’s brownfields program, developers who build apartment towers along the canal, on Bond and Nevins streets, will not only be reimbursed for the price to clean up the toxic land, but they’ll also be handed taxpayer dollars to cover at least 10% of their building costs, up to $35 million dollars each.

The developer of the luxury towers on Bond between Carroll and 1st streets has already been given over $7 million dollars of taxpayer funds. And because of NYC’s 421a, the developers themselves won’t have to pay any property tax for 10 years.

Fact 2:
The rezoning plan will allow for at least 10 new residential towers to be built along Bond and Nevins St., each up to 22 stories high, with four times as many expensive luxury apartments as affordable ones. These towers will likely bring at least 20,000 new residents to our neighborhood, DOUBLING the population of Gowanus, destroying the liveable neighborhood we know and love forever.

Fact 3:
When the City first presented their Gowanus Rezoning plan, in June of 2018, the new residential towers along the canal were limited to being 14 stories high. But the developers wanted more—much, much more— and so they “lobbied” (gave money to) our electeds. And guess what? In February, a new plan was presented that allows for towers up to 22 stories high on almost all of the rezoned blocks around the canal. So who are our electeds working for, anyway?

The Gowanus Is Dirty site also provides pdfs for the fact sheets along with a protest poster.
Our protest poster has already been printed out and will be hung in the window shortly.

And as a reminder:
The Dept of City Planning Presents its Gowanus Rezoning Plan tonight:
Thursday, Feb 28 at 6pm
PS 133, 610 Baltic St at 4th Ave

Be There!


plumpy said...

"The rezoning plan will allow for at least 10 new residential towers to be built... each up to 22 stories high... These towers will likely bring at least 20,000 new residents to the neighborhood."

20000 / (22 * 10) == 91 residents per floor.

That doesn't sound even close to realistic to me. Are there 30 apartments per floor? I think it's off by an order of magnitude.

Anonymous said...

I am essentially in agreement with "The Gowanus is Dirty," but should not be called "an informational website," certainly not without knowing who exactly is behind it, etc.; you wouldn't and shouldn't call a pro-development site "informational" without any caveats; and you wouldn't like it if a site that had a different political bent or bias than yours (again, I'm with you!) did just that; and I have no issue with your site or any site having such a bias, just calling for acknowledgment, clarity, transparency.

Katia said...

Fair enough. I changed it to ´informative’, which perhaps is more appropriate.
Still believe that the owners of the site are putting some important info out to the community.

Informative Neighbor said...

well, according to your math, that would mean that the lightstone development, at 365 bond, with a 12-story tower, would have only 120 apts. But we know they have 750 units. So let's double that for the number of residents since some are studios, one-bedrooms, and 2-bedrooms (1500 residents) and multiply by the number of blocks being rezoned (at least 10, so 15,000). Now we add another 10 stories to each of those blocks. And yeah, we are quickly at 20,000. Most likely, it will be wayyy more. The towers are the tallest part of the residential developments; there are many many many more units built into the lower-height buildings on bond and side streets (6-8 stories each). They are also going to allow a lot more density along 4th avenue so, realistically, 30,000 is more likely. These new residents won't be living in our neighborhood; we'll be living in theirs.

Anonymous said...

@Informative Neighbor -- it's all the same neighborhood dude, calling it "ours" or "theirs" is a pretty poor excuse for trying to actually work out how to live with new development, though I suppose it's fitting if all you'd like to do is cry NIMBY.

plumpy said...

Okay, you're right, my estimates we're definitely low. But I feel like you're still intentionally overinflating these numbers. Those 750 units take up two blocks, not one, as you imply. And from the plans, it doesn't look like the blocks to be developed are anywhere near as large as the two blocks that make up 363/365 Bond. Most of them look to be half the size or smaller.

And I agree with the below commenter: this us vs. them rhetoric is really distasteful. I know it's not really related, but it's hard for me not to read that and immediately think of white nationalist talking about immigrants "taking over" the country. I'd remove that from your rhetoric if you're trying to persuade people.

Informative neighbor said...

Plumpy and anonymous YIMBY: Gowanus right now has barely 20,000 population. So when you get extremely dense developments lining both sides of the canal, the neighborhood quickly becomes "theirs." And when I say theirs, I mean that the stores on Smith will cater to "them." And "they" will be renting/buying luxury condos (4 for every 1 "affordable" unit) so the neighborhood mix will change. Supermarkets? fuggedaboutit. Also, Plumby. I can't upload images here but look at the rezone plan if you can. the 2-block Lightstone development is actually quite small. The rezone areas, especially with the increased density, is definitely at least 10x if not more than those 2 blocks.

Long time resident said...

Overbuilding is destroying this area. What was once a nice neighborhood is being totally overwhelmed by money and greed. Same overcrowded subways, same streets but 20,000 new people .