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Toll Brothers Take the Offensive with Gowanus Site

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Are Brooklyn developer websites for controversial projects the latest thing? Well, the Toll Brothers have just launched a site for their 460-unit development on the Gowanus Canal. It intends to give the developer a kinder, gentler face in a neighborhood where there has been what could politely be called some hostility. Per a release accompanying the launch of the site, tollbrothersgowanus.com, it "will provide updates and information to the Gowanus community throughout the planning, zoning review and, if the project is approved in ULURP, construction phases, and will allow members of the public to send comments and suggestions to the development team." Last month, the developer of the 360 Smith Street project also launched a site to keep residents posted, albeit much later in the process. The site has sections outlining the project plans, a "calender of events" (currently listing events that happened in March), a press section and a contact form so that residents can, you know, make suggestions to the firm.

From the Toll Brothers Press Release:

David Von Spreckelsen, Vice-President of Toll Brothers City Living®, said, “TollBrothersGowanus.com will be an important part of our continuing dialogue with the Gowanus community. We’ll post information as our project moves through the governmental review process, and look forward to receiving comments back from the community. We’re excited to work with our neighbors towards the revitalization of the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal.”And, here's a sample from the site itself about enviornmental issues:The nature of subsurface conditions on the site reflects the long industrial and manufacturing history of the site and the surrounding area. Toll Brothers' extensive and thorough subsurface investigations detected highly weathered petroleum-related compounds and compounds typically associated with cinders and asphalt in urban fill material. As part of the proposed project, remediation would remove, treat or contain these compounds.The project still needs to go through the entire city land use process.
· Toll Brothers Gowanus Site [tollbrothersgowanus.com]