Gowanus Rezoning Moving Forward: Could Bring 8,000 New Apartments to Brooklyn

A controversial zoning—one of the last of a de Blasio administration that has rezoned parts of every borough in the city—last week cleared a key City Council committee.

2 minute read

November 14, 2021, 5:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Brooklyn, New York City

Full Prime Raw / Shutterstock

"Mayor Bill de Blasio’s controversial plan to rezone Gowanus is poised to move forward, fulfilling a decade-old ambition that aims to increase development and affordability in the fast-changing industrial enclave," reports Jake Offenhartz.

The City Council Land Use Committee voted to approve the rezoning on November 10, paving the way for up to 8,000 new apartments units, with one-third of those units reserved for low-income tenants, in the relatively wealthy corner of New York City.

The city's planning commission approved the Gowanus Neighborhood Planning Study in September, paving the way for last week's City Council’s Land Use Committee vote. The Gowanus rezoning plan previously encountered Covid-related delays and repeated bouts of controversy.

Offenhartz describe the rezoning as the largest upzoning of the de Blasio era—and there are plenty of other examples to compare, though the recent rezoning processes in Gowanus, along with the Envision NoHo/SoHo rezoning in Manhattan, are the first to focus on more affluent corners of the city (more on the same subject is found here and here). Earlier in its tenure, the de Blasio administration undertook rezonings  in East New York, Downtown Far Rockaway, East HarlemJerome Avenue, Inwood, the Bay Street Corridor on Staten IslandBushwick, and a swath of Southern Boulevard in the Bronx.

In 2014, the de Blasio administration announced the Housing New York plan to spend $41 billion to create or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units in the city, which included a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program that influenced all of these rezoning programs.

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