News & Politics

Toll Brothers Pulling a Fast One in Gowanus?


Never trust a landlord, even if you’re a powerful community board. Gowanus Lounge has learned that Community Board 6, which had given conditional approval on February 11 to Toll Brothers’ condo project on the Gowanus, thinks they’ve been swindled. Toll Brothers received the approval on the condition that the builder devote 30 percent of the units to “affordable housing.” But GL finds a letter from the Board to city planning commission chair Amanda Burden (one of New York’s most beautiful people in politics), saying they’ve learned that Toll Brothers “has not agreed to place the affordable housing requirement in deed restrictions,” and calling the situation unacceptable. GL also finds that the Board wrote “that the environmental conditions in and around the Gowanus Canal are not suitable for residential development at this time, and that there are no guarantees that such conditions ever will be suitable in the future.”

Toll Brothers is already losing revenue and cutting its condo prices in Brooklyn by as much as 37 percent. If communities start complaining about such trifles as broken agreements and intractable industrial pollution, the mighty Gowanus may never see the luxury condos it so obviously cries for.

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