Eric Adams unveils re-zoning plan to transform Brooklyn neighborhood

GOWANUS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams unveiled a new plan Friday to re-zone a neighborhood.

It will transform Gowanus into a more diverse neighborhood by creating more affordable housing.

The population in Gowanus is like the rest of Brooklyn, which borough wide jumped more than 230,000 in the last 10 years. But the Black population in Brooklyn plunged almost 9%.

"Since I became the borough president, I have been clear that Brooklyn popularity must translate into prosperity for all Brooklynites," Adams said.

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He announced he is in favor of a massive rezoning project involving 82 blocks in Gowanus, but only if the infamous Gowanus Canal is cleaned up more and City Hall spends close to $300 million to fix two troubled housing projects, the Gowanus Houses and Wyckoff Gardens.

"Invest in public housing," Adams said. "Buildings cannot go up around NYCHA developments while these residents see their future go down. Not acceptable. We cannot allow it to happen."

The zoning change would lead to at least 8,000 new apartments, more than a third of them affordable, along with new 20- and 30-story buildings.

It's supposed to make Gowanus not so white and instead more inclusive, yet also busier. But not everyone is on board.

"I'm opposed to it because I think it's rapid gentrification on a large scale," said Martin Bisi, with Voice of Gowanus. "I think a lot of the analysis is incorrect."

But Gowanus has already changed dramatically in the last few years.

Joe Burchfield has lived there most of his life and says change is probably coming, whether he wants it to or not.

"I think it's continuous, it's like the way New York works," he said, adding he's unsure if things should slow down.

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The City Council will vote on changing the zoning in either October or November, and it will be one of the last big development changes in the de Blasio administration.

And now, it has the green light from the likely next mayor of New York City.

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