Both 455 and 465 Carroll Street were approved to be residential zones this past Friday by Community Board 6′s Landmark and Land Usage Board. Both locations needed a variance to convert land zoned for manufacturing to residential.
455 Carroll Street argument focused on the fact that they only wanted to change the 2nd floor to a residency, but wanted to keep the ground floor for a manufacturing type business. The owners created the Dumpster Pools that have appeared at different events around the city and wishes to live above his workshop. The 2nd floor apparently has no elevator and is only accessible by a narrow stairwell. No one voiced an objection from the community or from the board.
465 Carroll Street has been an empty lot, according to the land owners, for 60 years. The lot also has a narrow entrance that would not work for large trucks on the small (now) mostly residential street. The owner brought a design of what the residential building is intended to look like. Despite this public hearing not being on aesthetics of the purposed building, many people asked if the new building would fit with the other houses along the block. The lot’s owner noted that he only intended to put a modern twist on the look of the block. He said he would be using a standard red brick and the plans indicated that the building would have larger windows than neighboring buildings for energy efficiency purposes.
The zone changes for these manufacturing buildings seem like the right thing to do on this mostly residential block, but their variance approval spurs fear into the heart of some Gowanus residence. Some believe that changing even of a few old manufacturing buildings could lead to a high end condo take over for the area. Many are not wishing Gowanus to be the next Soho or Williamsburg.