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Toll Brothers testing the waters

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A national real-estate developer best known for luxury suburban homebuilding got a warmer reception at Thursday night’s unveiling of the latest designs for a huge Gowanus project.

Toll Brothers presented its project — 447 units of luxury and sub-market housing in a complex including townhouses and 12-story towers, plus a public esplanade between Bond, Carroll and Second streets and the Gowanus Canal — to Community Board 6 on Thursday night and championed its plans as “set[ting] the standard for appropriate development on the canal,” said Toll Brothers Vice President David Von Spreckelsen.

Despite Von Spreckelsen’s optimism, some residents believe that the Toll Brothers site should not be rezoned for residential development before the entire Gowanus corridor is rezoned by the city, possibly before the end of the Bloomberg administration.

“Toll Brothers plan is small in comparison to what is going to happen with the larger rezoning,” said Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope), who credited Toll Brothers for setting aside 20 to 30 percent of the project for below-market-rate housing.

Public reaction to the project was warmer than it had been in the past — most likely thanks to the company’s new renderings, which show off a public esplanade. Then again, some residents disliked the size of the apartment towers.

And given the fetid state of the canal, emotions boiled over during a brief discussion about the project’s possible impact on sewage, which flows unabated into the waterway during heavy rainfalls.

Some argue that the Toll Brothers project would exacerbate the problem.

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Reader Feedback

tony montana from carrol garden says:
rezone the damn thing already ,tell those liberal idiots to stop there protest,its going to happen whether they like it or not
March 29, 2008, 8:18 am
mike harmon from park slope says:
well said tony,srtist,liberal,or whoever shut up and let nature take its course
March 29, 2008, 8:22 am
Charles from PS, Bklyn says:
Hey, Tony and Mike ... Those liberal idiots own more land and property than you ever will. Further, those liberal idiots are not against development, just bad and unfair development to the community that already lives there. So,
in the tradition of name calling, which you obviously believe is a good way to communicate, you would be referred to as "Tools."

Anyway, back to the reality of the situation. I love how the background of the promo pictures are of vast open-wide horizons. They forgot, however, to put in the BQE and train bridges, which would make this scene more Brooklyn and less suburban dreamland. I love the people running along the canal, so nice. Maybe they will take a swim afterward. It is also interesting and strange that all the people in these promo pictures are white. The Brooklyn of the future, less diverse and without lower class workers.

The real truth is this: With the new, large scale developments up "the slope," including the proposed Atlantic Yards, the increase in waste (yes, human waste from the added toilets) will keep the Gowanus disgusting for years to come. Further, rain runoff will top off the canal with other street created toxins, forever. It is unrealistic to believe that this project will work out as promo pictures envision
March 29, 2008, 3:13 pm
the real tony from carroll gardens says:
ya let nature take it course! let them build and the rest of us can sit back and watch the Brooklyn version of Katrina.
March 30, 2008, 10:03 pm

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