Gowanus Greenscape Community Planning

Greenscape Flyer 2015_halfsheet

Dear Neighbor,

The Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Gowanus Alliance invite you to participate in an interactive neighborhood forum about parks and open space in Gowanus. This meeting is part of the broader Gowanus Greenscape community planning process, which will engage residents, businesses and other stakeholders in a discussion about open space in Gowanus, with an eye toward developing a masterplan framework that reflects the needs and priorities of the people who live, work and play in this neighborhood. Following is information about the meeting:

Time/Date: 6:30-8pm, Thursday, June 25
Location: Gowanus Alliance roof top, 135 13th Street (btw 2nd/3rd Avenues)
Other: Drinks and snacks will be served

We will be discussing the following questions:
– Which open spaces do we currently use and how?
– What do we want from developing open spaces?
– Where else in the neighborhood do we want to see open space?

Please RSVP to ben@gowanuscanalconservancy.org if you can attend.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the future of of open space in Gowanus!


Paul Basile
Gowanus Alliance

Ben Jones
Gowanus Canal Conservancy

Posted in Creative Ideas, Developments, EPA, Events, Gowanus Canal, Hurricane Sandy, Our Members, Small Business Initiative | Comments closed

GOWANUS IBID Meeting May 21

Calling all industrial and manufacturing businesses in Gowanus:

Come learn more about an industrial business improvement district (IBID) and what it would mean for Gowanus.

We will be joined by a guest speaker: Kris Goddard, Executive Director of the BID Program at Small Business Services.

Drinks and snacks will be served.

When: May 21st Street, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Where: The Gowanus Alliance; 135 13th St.

RSVP: Steven Gause, Business Services Manager at SBIDC: sgause@sbidc.org, 718-965-3100.

Posted in Developments, Events, Gowanus Canal, Our Members, Small Business Initiative | Comments closed

Gowanus Canal Needs Bike and Pedestrian Bridge

by Leslie Albrecht DNA Info

GOWANUS — They want a bridge over troubled waters.

Business advocacy group Gowanus Alliance is floating the idea of building a bike and pedestrian-only bridge over the Gowanus Canal at Fifth Street.

President Paul Basile says a car-free crossing for cyclists and walkers would be an asset in fast-changing Gowanus, especially after the notoriously polluted canal gets cleaned up and new developments draw thousands more residents.

“The canal obviously is going to get clean at some point and there’s a lot of talk about public access,” Basile said. “Since we’re in the early stages of planning…the cleanup, I think it’s something that should be presented to our local and state officials.”

Follow this link to read more:

Gowanus Canal Needs Bike and Pedestrian Bridge, Business Group Says – Gowanus – DNAinfo.com New York.

Posted in Creative Ideas, Developments, EPA, Events, Gowanus Canal, Our Members, Small Business Initiative | Comments closed

What do you want in our neighborhood?

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.05.53 AM

Dear Friends,

We hope you’ll join us in taking part in a unique opportunity in our community, participatory budgeting, which puts budget decisions about important neighborhood projects directly in the hands of the people those decisions will impact most – us.

Participatory budgeting is our chance to get our community’s needs addressed.

There are many great projects on the ballot this year, all cooked up by local residents – subway station improvements, park projects, school facilities, and traffic safety upgrades. City Council Member Brad Lander has pledged $1.5 in City capital funding –our taxpayer dollars, remember – to the projects that get the most votes.

Want to vote on which projects will be funded? Please click here to pledge to participate and then click here for a list of voting locations and times.

If you are not sure if you are in Brad Lander’s district, enter your address on his website.

In order to get the resources we need to continue to improve our community, we need to make our voices heard in this process.

Can I count on you to join me to make our community’s voice heard?

Please click here to pledge to vote and let our City Council Member know that we as a community are excited and ready to take advantage of this opportunity. Please feel free to get in contact with me with any questions about the process. And don’t forget to pledge to vote.

Videos explaining each project: http://bradlander.com/2015-participatory-budgeting-ballot

Posted in Creative Ideas, Developments, Events, Gowanus Canal, Our Members | Comments closed

Let’s Build Something Together. How about a Community?


We were just informed that Lowe’s on 2nd Avenue agreed to provide FREE parking space for official DOCCS vehicles in order to minimize existing shortage of parking for local businesses.

Details to this agreement will shortly be released via Gowanus United newsletter.


Posted in Brooklyn Parole Center, Developments, Our Members, Small Business Initiative | Comments closed

We need jobs!

“There’s an old saying popular with skeptics of government initiatives: The best social program is a job. But these days, too many jobs don’t pay enough to make ends meet in New York City, where housing costs have risen three times as fast as median income during the past 15 years.”

“Manufacturing in the city is a shell of its former self, but it’s a hard shell, with 75,000 employees providing products and services for other local businesses. That’s roughly the number of affordable apartments that the mayor proposes to create over 10 years. If he creates those units but loses our industrial jobs to low-wage sectors whose workers require subsidized housing, he will have accomplished nothing.”

Read more:

No housing is affordable without a job | Crain’s New York Business

Posted in Developments, Small Business Initiative | Comments closed

Real estate investors continue to bet on the future of Gowanus | Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Real estate investors continue to bet on the future of Gowanus | Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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Call for Artists! Public Art in Gowanus – Arts Gowanus

Call for Artists! Public Art in Gowanus – Arts Gowanus.

Posted in Creative Ideas, Events | Comments closed

Holiday REFLECT Party


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Comprehensive Platform to Reinvigorate NYC’s Industrial and Manufacturing Sectors

VIA http://council.nyc.gov/html/pr/111914eo.shtml

New York— Today, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council issued a comprehensive report detailing the state of New York City’s industrial sector and proposed new approaches to reinvigorating New York’s manufacturing districts as engines of economic opportunity.

The report identifies new zoning and land use tools that can help New York City support and nurture growth in both the manufacturing sector and the growing “creative” sector industries. These tools include “industrial employment districts”, “creative economy districts”, and new kinds of zoning to more effectively support mixed-use industrial, residential, and commercial neighborhoods.

Industrial companies currently employ approximately nearly 350,000 New Yorkers—approximately 10% of the city’s private sector workforce. In Brooklyn and Queens, jobs in manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation, warehousing, and utilities pay an average salary of $51,000 annually — more than double the average salary of service sector jobs. Not only do these jobs serve as a conduit into the middle class for many first-generation immigrants, but they also grow the local economy; according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, every dollar in the final sale of manufactured goods generates $1.33 in additional output.

“New York City’s industrial sector bolsters our local economies and provides strong stable jobs for our workforce,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The proposals outlined in our report shed light on how we can harness the power of manufacturing to grow and diversify our city’s economic and community development—while balancing the need for livable neighborhoods. These jobs are gateways to greater opportunity for New York City’s working families, and I look forward to putting these recommendations to action.”

“New York City has always been a nationwide economic leader because of the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of our residents. Today, thanks to existing manufacturing zones, New Yorkers are redefining industry and creating well-paying jobs. We need to nurture this economic growth by ensuring our creative and industrial sectors are able to grow and thrive while planning for the future. I thank our Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for prioritizing this issue and look forward to working with my colleagues to updating our zoning regulations to allow for responsible growth,” said Council Member David G. Greenfield, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Land Use.

“Preserving and creating manufacturing jobs, and space where these jobs can exist, is extremely important for my district and for the city as a whole,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.   “Keeping manufacturing in the city encourages both economic development and sustainability, and it is important that we remember this as we consider what development looks like in this new administration.  The manufacturing sector provides the high-quality jobs with low barriers to entry that allow families to stay and flourish in the city, and we want make sure it is encouraged and expanded.”

“Protecting manufacturing areas cannot be overlooked in our economic development strategy,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “As this report shows, the Council will continue to take an active role in diversifying our local economy.”

“New York is a city of makers — enterprising creative firms whose operations create quality jobs and whose products exemplify the diversity and dynamic energy of our world-class metropolis,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy.  “Earlier this year, the City Council demonstrated its support for these businesses by advocating for increased funding for industrial and business service providers in the FY 2015 budget. However, the “Engines of Opportunity” report takes several critical steps forward by advocating for three significant zoning changes, each well-supported by an understanding of history and market conditions. I look forward to interacting with the administration, advocates and business owners as we work to advance these proposals to ensure the continuing health of New York’s industrial and manufacturing businesses.”

“Under the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the City Council is today demonstrating that it has a strong vision for protecting existing manufacturing and fostering new innovation in New York City,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “This excellent report shows how creative land use policies can make neighborhoods like Williamsburg competitive in the 21st century economy. Thank you to Speaker Mark-Viverito and the staff who worked on this report.”

“New zoning tools are needed to protect and strengthen NYC’s manufacturing sector and our vibrant mixed-use neighborhoods — including places like Gowanus in my district in Brooklyn. Whether its the innovation economy, our creative sector, or simply a place for our sanitation trucks, New York City can only thrive with enough room for industry,” said Council Member Brad Lander. I’m proud that the City Council is leading the way toward a more productive and inclusive city.”

“Neighborhoods like Sunset Park and Red Hook in my district rely greatly on the industrial sector to serve as an engine for economic and workforce development,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “I commend the Speaker on this report and her commitment to the City’s industrial base.  We must look holistically at how to stabilize manufacturing-zoned neighborhoods, limit real estate speculation and support local production.  I look forward to working with my colleagues in the City Council and local partners to achieve these land use and community development objectives.”

The report proposes innovative zoning frameworks and mechanisms to address these long-term goals:

1) Industrial Employment District – A zoning district which reserves space for the industrial sector, which is critical to the economic well-being of thousands of New Yorkers and the health of the overall economy. In places where a concen¬tration of manufacturing and industrial activity exists — in many of the existing “Industrial Business Zones” for instance — a re-writing of the use regulations to focus on the protection and growth of these industries is essential, as is allowing for additional density to create the option for more space for new and existing firms to expand. Combined with new strategic incentives and tar¬geted enforcement, these districts will provide a stable regulatory framework for investment.
2) Creative Economy District –With additional commercial density added to a protected core of industrial space, these districts would create dynamic new mixed-use employment centers and provide space for the growing “creative” sectors of technology, media, arts, and design. Job growth in these districts would no longer be hindered by competition for land with incompatible uses like mini-storage or nightlife, or blocked-out by unproductive warehousing of property in hope of future residential rezoning. With additional commercial density, property owners would gain much more lucrative development opportunities than under the current zoning while growing the City’s employment base. Robust workforce development strategies will need to be implemented in tandem with these new districts to ensure a wide variety of New Yorkers will have access to these new jobs.

3) A Real Mixed Use District – Mixed-use industrial-residential-commercial neighborhoods have a unique dynamism that has made them tremendously desirable. Other cities are increasingly trying to emulate the dynamic synergy of these mixed-use neighborhoods. A zone which supports and requires the creation of commercial and compatible industrial space alongside residen¬tial would create dynamic new neighborhoods instead of just residential development.
“We are thrilled that the NYC Council values industrial jobs and has proposed new, modern zoning tools to nurture their growth,” said Leah Archibald, Executive Director of EWVIDCO.
“GMDC is thankful that the Council has recognized the importance of protecting and growing the City’s industrial base.  The recommendations outlined in the committee’s report will help to ensure that the good jobs that this sector creates are secured and valued,”  said Brian T. Coleman, CEO, Greenpoint Manufacturing & Design Center (GMDC).

“Our manufacturing sector is a key driver of quality jobs and a path to the middle-class. A comprehensive strategy for growing and modernizing for the New Industrial NYC will play a huge role in keeping this city a place that provides opportunities for all,” said Benjamin Dulchin, Executive Director, Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development.

“The extraordinary wealth of New York’s design talent, the depth and sophistication of its market and the talent of its workers make New York a great place for manufacturing,” said Adam Friedman, Director of the Pratt Center for Community Development. “The Council’s proposals offer the new land use tools that we need to capture the full job creation potential of this sector.”


Posted in Developments, Events, Our Members, Small Business Initiative | Comments closed
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