October 21st, 2014
The Gowanus area has long been a busy hub of industrial and shipping activity for Brooklyn dating back to the mid 1800's. The neighborhood is most known for the Gowanus Canal, a 1.8 mile waterway built for the areas mills, tanneries, chemical plants, and other heavy industries. The environment has long been neglected by all the pollution from these industries. The neighborhood is currently zoned for light to mid-level manufacturing but the neighborhood could see future zoning changes to encourage residential developments.
Italian dockworkers once toiled along this Brooklyn waterfront neighborhood long ago. After over a century of neglect, efforts are finally now being made to clean up the canal. In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency designated the Gowanus Canal as a Superfund site. The canal was declared as one of the nation's most contaminated bodies of water. The Superfund designation comes with a $500-million cleanup plan. The EPA hopes this will eliminate the vast majority of the contamination the canal currently receives.
Now the neighborhood offers future generations of New Yorkers the potential of a great waterfront destination for both residential and commercial purposes. For now stay out of the water though! Business Insider recently did a photo shoot of local businesses in the area. See the article here