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City Taking Bids for Toxic Gowanus Public Place

Maybe you've heard of Public Place. It's one of the more polluted parcels of land in Brooklyn--5.8 acres between Fifth Street, Smith Street and the Gowanus Canal. Debate about its future has been going on for a while. Today, the city announced that it will be the home of a mixed-use development and asked developers for proposals. The development will include at least 400 units of mixed-income housing, commercial space, some "community facility space" and "large amounts of of newly landscaped open space, particularly along the canal itself." The buildings can be up to 12 stories tall. The site's a mess because it used to be the home of a Manufactured Gas Plant that left behind a toxic soup up to 150 feet below the surface. Don't reserve your cafe table on the bucolic Gowanus just yet, though. The pre-construction cleanup is supposed to start in summer 2008 and take two years. The cost estimate for the two most likely cleanup options range from $62.3 million or $105 million. (A total cleanup of the mess, which won't happen, would cost $699 million and take 12 years.) Everything is supposed to be safe when they're done.
· City Announces New Mixed-Use Development at Public Place [nyc.gov]
· Public Place, Gowanus Canal: Emphasis on the Public [Curbed]