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“This is the tipping point for Gowanus,” explained one local activist and former Brooklyn College professor. “What’s going to be interesting is to see whether it’s going to contribute to a kind of middle- and upper-middle-income neighborhood in between gentrified Carroll Gardens and highly gentrified Park Slope. What’s unusual about this project is it’s being done in the middle of the wasteland.”
Even so, some local environmentalists actually argue that having a major real estate development on the canal would be a good thing, publicly forcing the city into further cleanup efforts.
However, in spite of all these concerns about further sullying the canal's already extremely sullied waters, no one seems to be at all worried about the possible health problems that might result in encouraging people to live atop a notorious liquid trash heap. And, given the recent damage to air quality that's arisen from efforts to clean Newtown Creek, as well as longstanding pollutants coming from the water in Greenpoint, this seems worth considering.
But hey, why worry? As in all matters of impending gentrification, developers and city officials have it all taken care of, no question. A Lightstone spokesman said, "By the time the project is ready to rent, the canal will be a lot cleaner."
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.