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At the final Bridging Gowanus meeting Monday night, reaction was mixed to a presentation of findings after a years-long series of meetings about the future of Gowanus, but many residents said they do not want tall buildings.

Some attendees thanked Council Member Brad Lander and the Pratt Institute facilitators, and some said the process was better than they had expected. Others said the process was manipulative and designed to build a false appearance of consensus in favor of a rezoning that would allow luxury high rise buildings in exchange for much-needed infrastructure improvements that should be made anyway.

About 100 local residents and representatives from community groups and nonprofits gathered at P.S. 36 in Carroll Gardens to hear Pratt Institute facilitators summarize findings about sewage infrastructure, the economy, mandatory mixed-use zones, historic preservation, and affordable housing, among other things.

The report and Councilmen Brad Lander, Steve Levin and others acknowledged past rezonings in Williamsburg, Greenpoint and 4th Avenue had favored developers to the detriment of neighborhoods. (more…)

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Council Member Brad Lander released his Bridging Gowanus framework this afternoon (we were expecting it Monday), condensing a year of community meetings. The document lays out a vision for development in Gowanus that hinges on high-rise apartments to help fund improvements residents demand, including anti-flood measures, more parks, more schools, affordable housing, and ways to protect artists and manufacturing businesses.

It proposes a “mandatory mixed-use zone” that will “require a balance of light industry, cultural and artistic uses,” a special manufacturing zone, and mandatory inclusionary zoning to require affordable housing in new developments. (The first two are new types of zoning districts proposed by the City Council in a report Wednesday.) The document includes a list of buildings that should be considered for landmarking, as well as alternative approaches to preserving Gowanus’ historic buildings.

He’ll present the plan at a public meeting on Monday, November 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at P.S. 32, at the corner of Hoyt and Union streets. Residents can submit comments through the end of the year and read the full framework on the Bridging Gowanus site. You can also read the press release and summary here.

Lander Offers Gowanus Trade: High Rises for Flood Upgrades [Brownstoner]
New Zoning Districts Could Dramatically Change Bushwick, Gowanus and Other Nabes [Brownstoner]

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High-rise apartment buildings with affordable housing, more parks, more schools, protected artists’ spaces, a special “super manufacturing zone” to protect factories — these are all part of a plan to redevelop Gowanus that Council Member Brad Lander will unveil Monday, according to a story in DNAinfo. “The Bridging Gowanus plan lays out a broad set of goals including flood-fighting infrastructure upgrades, affordable housing and a rezoning that would bolster manufacturing and allow new residential development, including high-rises in some places, for the first time since 1961,” the story said.

The vision, which Lander plans to present to the de Blasio administration, came out of a series of public meetings Lander convened over the last year called Bridging Gowanus. Most area residents support tall buildings from eight to 18 stories if other criteria are met, according to Lander. (more…)

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Lightstone Group is holding a community meeting tonight to discuss its plans for the next phase of construction at 363-365 Bond Street, the 700-unit megadevelopment on the shores of the Gowanus Canal. Reps from the developer will present the upcoming construction timeline and take questions from neighbors, according to an announcement sent out by Council Member Brad Lander.

“The meeting is no doubt a small concession to the community, which had to deal with months-long pounding noise and vibration from pile driving during phase one of the project at 365 Bond Street,” noted Pardon Me For Asking, which published the announcement.

The meeting will happen from 6:30 to 8:30 pm tonight in the Community Room at Mary Star of the Sea, located at 41 1st Street in Gowanus.

Rendering by Goldstein Hill & West

Council Member Brad Lander has condensed a year’s worth of feedback from the “Bridging Gowanus” meetings and plans to present the highlights at a meeting later this month. He calls it a “draft community planning framework” on his website, and told Brooklyn Paper that ideas included protecting manufacturing and improving transportation and environmental infrastructure in the area, although the list of recommendations isn’t finalized yet.

Lander and other pols first organized the Bridging Gowanus meetings last year to solicit feedback from the community about development. Neighborhood groups criticized the process for being “undemocratic” and having a hidden agenda to create a consensus — or the appearance of one — to rezone the area for residential, as we reported at the time.

The meeting will happen Monday, November 24 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at P.S. 32, located at 317 Hoyt Street, between President and Union Streets. Those who won’t be able attend can email their comments to info@bridginggowanus.org.

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After listings went up for 345 Carroll Street in Gowanus in September, the still-under-construction luxury building is already 40 percent sold out, according to Curbed. Asking prices for the 32 units at the old Regency Carts site start at $1,645,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath and go up as high as $2,950,000 for a four-bedroom, three-bath, as reported.

We’re not sure if the building is in the flood zone, but it’s extremely luxurious, with seven penthouses, six garden duplexes, a wildflower meadow, bocce courts, vegetable plots, a dog washing station, and rooftop cabanas for purchase. The developer is Sterling Equities and the architect is Gluck+.

345 Carroll Street 40 Percent Sold Out [Curbed]
Regency Carts Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering by Gluck+

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At first we thought we’d seen this rendering for 535 4th Avenue before, which The New York Observer published yesterday. But then we realized that’s because it looks so similar to the building some of the same developers are planning down the street at 470 4th Avenue.

Here at 535 4th Avenue, developers Slate Property Group, Adam America and AEW Capital Management are developing a mixed-use property with 148 apartments, as reported. Down the street at 470 4th Avenue, Adam America, Slate and the Naveh Shuster Group are putting up a mixed-use building with 105 apartments. Aufgang Architects is designing both.

Click through to compare the two designs. What do you think of them?

Renderings Revealed for 535 4th Avenue in Park Slope [NYO]
Renderings by Aufgang Architects (more…)

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Community group Gowanus United today filed a lawsuit to halt the construction of a three-story, 61,000-square-foot parole reporting facility at 15 2nd Avenue, between 5th Street and the Gowanus Canal, just behind Whole Foods. The suit claims the state’s Department of Corrections didn’t perform an environmental review to examine how the building and its day-to-day operations would affect the community. A press release sent out by the group did not say in which court the suit was filed.

As previously reported, the state department lost its previous headquarters downtown several years ago to development and has been housed in three different downtown locations since then. The offices serve about 5,000 parolees, or 400 a day. The state signed a contract over a year ago and construction is well under way (we took the above photo in August). Construction is supposed to finish in January, and the building is supposed to open in April.

The lawsuit also seeks to overturn a zoning waiver granted by the Bloomberg administration late last year, which allows the state to build fewer parking spaces than the site’s zoning requires. The group’s press release argues that the site isn’t served well by public transportation, and a lack of off-street parking would only make nearby traffic and parking worse.

BBP Adams: Parole Office Should Be Downtown, Not in Gowanus [Brownstoner]
Steel Rises Next to Gowanus Junkyard [Brownstoner]

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Lightstone has just locked down a $120,000,000 loan for the first phase of its 700-unit megadevelopment at 363-365 Bond Street along the Gowanus Canal, and the Observer’s article on the financing has additional details on what will be built between 1st and 2nd streets. The 12-story complex will have 429 units, including 86 affordable ones. In addition, as previously reported, there will also be a landscaped courtyard, roof decks, a fitness facility, a theater room and a waterfront park on the banks of the canal.

Overall, the controversial rental project will have 140 affordable units (20 percent of the project), as the developer promised in 2012. The buildings will range in height from six to 12 stories, and the development will also have a 25-year tax abatement, as previously reported.

Canyon Provides Construction Loan for Gowanus Development [NYO]
Lightstone Coverage [Brownstoner]
Rendering via NYO

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For a whole house in Gowanus, its doesn’t get much cheaper than this little 800-square-foot two-bedroom on Bond Street. The listing says it’s below market rate because the tenants will be responsible for their own minor repairs and painting. There are two baths, laundry in the kitchen, and a shared patio (presumably with the house on the corner).

It’s half a block from the 700-unit complex that Lightstone is building at 363-365 Bond Street, where neighbors have been complaining about loud construction and pile driving for six months. It’s also a block from the canal; we hope “minor repairs and painting” are not frequently necessary because of flooding. Do you think it’s worth it for $1,995 a month?

396 Bond Street [Corcoran] GMAP

537 Sackett St, KL, PS

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Former Majestic Quality Products Company Factory and Warehouse
Address: 537 Sackett Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Nevins Street
Neighborhood: Gowanus
Year Built: around 1950
Architectural Style: Industrial Moderne
Architect: Unknown
Landmarked: No, but part of proposed National Register of Historic Places Gowanus Industrial District.

The story: We get so many products from all over the world now, especially from China, so it’s hard to imagine where the things we put in our homes are made. If we were living in the 1950s, and we wanted lighting fixtures for our homes, we might have purchased them from a company like Majestic Quality Products, which had its factory right here in Brooklyn, at 537 Sackett Street, in Gowanus. (more…)

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This weekend is the 18th annual Gowanus Open Studios, when neighborhood artists open their doors to allow the public to visit their studios, learn about their art and the creative process and to buy artworks. This year 315 artists and arts organizations are participating, including a huge range of types of artists: painters, sculptors, performers, printmakers, photographers, installation artists and many more.

Those planning to attend can check out a list of participating artists here and can find a map of studio locations here. In addition to visiting studios, those attending can sign up for curated tours which will take place on Saturday, October 18 and Sunday, October 19. There will also be a panel discussion on how to build an art collection on Saturday and a walking tour of murals on both days. For more information about the event, visit the Arts Gowanus Open Studio page.

Photo by Arts Gowanus