Summary: The Gowanus Canal Brownfield Opportunity Area Nomination Study (BOA) sought to develop a community-supported strategy to reuse and redevelop under-used properties in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY. A predominantly and historically industrial neighborhood, Gowanus is home to the Superfund-designated Gowanus Canal, scheduled for EPA remediation over the next 15 years. It is also flanked by some of the most valuable residential real estate in the borough. Working within the framework of the New York State Department of State’s BOA program, the nomination study attempted to forge consensus among neighbors regarding as-of-right redevelopment of sites in the neighborhood’s industrial-zoned areas.
The BOA study began with a comprehensive inventory of economic and market conditions, physical character and landmarks, environmental issues, and utility and transportation infrastructure. This was supplemented with a survey of 80 local businesses, stakeholder input gathered through interactive workshops, and supplemental interviews with real estate investors, property owners, and business owners. The end result of the study was a list of key properties for redevelopment, suggestions for how to reposition those properties to catalyze further neighborhood reinvestment, and a list of further recommendations for strengthening the neighborhood as an enduring center of economic activity and well-paying, stable employment.
Role: As project manager for the BOA, I led the planning and analysis efforts, coordinated a team of subconsultants, oversaw and created work plans for interns, and maintained open communication with the project clients. I also developed graphics, public outreach materials and exercises, and an interactive guide to New York State and New York City incentive programs that assist business and property owners in redevelopment of brownfield and industrial properties. I was the primary point of contact for all project communication, and the author of the final project report.