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.
©2008 Community News Group
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