Gowanus (/ɡəˈwɑːnəs/ gə-wah-nəs) is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, within the South Brooklyn area. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 6. Gowanus is bounded by Wyckoff Street on the north, Fourth Avenue on the east, the Gowanus Expressway to the south, and Smith and Hoyt Streets to the west.
In view of the canal - the house of Simon Aertsen De Hart, still standing on Gowanus Bay in 1867. In 1636, Gowanus Bay was the site of the first settlement by Dutch farmers in what is now Brooklyn. The ponds of Gowanus meadow-lands served to drive gristmills of early settlers. During the American Revolutionary War Gowanus was the scene of fighting in the Battle of Long Island. After the Gowanus Canal was built through Gowanus, the area became an industrial center, and the draining of the ponds began in the 1860s. Since then, the area has been a center of industrial and shipping activity. After World War II, the decline of shipping at the port of Red Hook and of manufacturing around New York City prompted large industry to leave and changed the vibrancy of industry in Gowanus.
Located closer to Lower Manhattan than Park Slop, which is considered one of New York City's most desirable neighborhoods, Gowanus Canal Area has been in the center of the developers' interest. However, its highly industrial looks and the proximity of a highly contaminated Gowanus Canal have made many investors to set aside the plans to invest into the Gowanus area. Will the area be rezoned any time soon?
City Planning project manager Jonathan Keller explained that the city had started a rezoning study for Gowanus in 2007, but it was abandoned when the Environmental Protection Agency declared the canal a Superfund site. So the city will base its new zoning on the Bridging Gowanus framework, not the 2007 study.
“We’re not starting from where we left off in 2009 and 2010 [from the previous study],” said Keller. “A lot has changed in the neighborhood since then.”
In his presentation, Keller outlined the four goals from Bridging Gowanus: investing in infrastructure, encouraging mixed-use development, preserving and creating affordable housing, and preserving manufacturing.
He also spelled out the four main geographic areas in the study and the goals for each part. First there were the NYCHA developments. Wyckoff Gardens is part of the NextGen NYCHA program, which means a 50 percent affordable, 50 percent market-rate project will eventually rise on open space within the development. Then along the canal north of Third Street, there are “opportunities for a mix of uses including light industrial, arts, cultural, and residential when appropriate.”
In view of this, Gowanus has all the chances to become the next Soho and the unbeatable location between the Financial District of Manhattan and Park Slope makes the location second to none, which means that with the works of the NYC to clean the Gowanus Canal, the place would be one of the major investment attractions of NYC within maximum 3 years.
Gowanus, unlike Soho, yet boasts a number of industrial properties to flip so an inquisitive investor will still find a deal to make money on, in this area.
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