The large industrial site next to the Gowanus Canal that currently houses the neighborhood’s Lowe’s store has sold to developer Two Trees Management, which has real estate pundits wondering whether the developer is priming the site for a massive residential development.
The Real Deal first reported on the sale; Two Trees acquired the site from another prolific Brooklyn developer, Forest City Ratner, for $53 million. The property, which is located at 118 Second Avenue, spans 400,000 square feet, and can allow for a development as large as 800,000 square feet.
But in order for that development to be residential, the site would have to be rezoned. And that might prove to be a bit of an uphill task for Two Trees. The City Council member representing that area, Brad Lander, informed the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that he would fight efforts to rezone the land for residential development. Instead, he argued for the creation of more jobs in the neighborhood.
Lander however will only remain in office until 2021, and the development might still be some time away, as Lowe’s still has a long-term lease agreement on the site, according to TRD. There’s also the proposed neighborhood rezoning to consider, that might also tip the scales in favor or against Two Trees. The development firm meanwhile has remained mum on what it plans to do with the site, so for now we can only speculate on the possibilities.
There’s no doubt that the area around Gowanus Canal has become a hotbed of development in recent years. Take for instance the two rentals at 365 and 363 Bond Street that are north-east of the Lowe’s site, on the eastern side of the Canal. Developer Domain Companies has also purchased two Canal-adjacent sites within the last six months, at 545 Sackett Street and 420 Carroll Street, yet another indicator of the likely change headed Gowanus’s way.