Toll Brothers’ Gowanus project sails through Council

Toll Brothers testing the waters

A development company’s goal of transforming a stretch of the Gowanus Canal into a 447-unit project with a scenic esplanade along the fetid waterway earned the overwhelming support of the City Council on Wednesday.

Toll Brothers’ request for a rezoning to built residential units on what is currently manufacturing-zoned land between Carroll and Second streets on the west bank of the sluice passed the legislature by a 45–1 vote.

Only Councilman Tony Avella (D–Queens) voted against the project.

Meanwhile, Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope), in whose district the project would rise, applauded his fellow lawmakers.

Despite all the approvals along the way, the project has run into opposition from neighbors who object to the inclusion of 12-story apartment towers and the construction of any kind of housing in such a polluted area.

Also, Community Board 6 later conditioned its approval on a firm commitment from the developer on the affordable housing component.

Meanwhile, the Bloomberg administration’s plan for a far-wider rezoning of the Gowanus Canal zone is a few months away from entering its own public-review process.

DeBlasio has vowed to support that effort, too — with some conditions, of course.

“I will continue to work with the council and the community on the complete rezoning of the Gowanus Canal to ensure all development supports our borough’s economy and the needs of our residents,” he said.

Mayor Bloomberg's larger plan calls for far more manufacturing land to be rezoned for residential use.