Gowanus business says it was 'blindsided' by new rezoning plans

Some businesses feel like they've been blindsided by some last-minute changes as the city's rezoning plans for the neighborhood of Gowanus moves forward.

News 12 Staff

Nov 19, 2021, 5:33 PM

Updated 967 days ago

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Gowanus business says it was 'blindsided' by new rezoning plans
Some businesses feel like they've been blindsided by some last-minute changes as the city's rezoning plans for the neighborhood of Gowanus moves forward.
Martin Bisi has owned the 3,000-square-foot recording studio space at the Old American Can Factory since 1979. Over the decades, he has helped produce a number of records for artists.
"Musicians really need large spaces like this. But eventually I realized I was in this place that had all kinds of possibilities, so I was very lucky," Bisi says.
But when he found out that a new addition of a 300-foot tower to the city's Gowanus neighborhood rezoning plan would displace his business, he felt blindsided.
"My initial reaction to hearing about the tower was a panic," he says.
According to the City Council, the new building will provide affordable housing as well as artists spaces. But for Bisi, who requires a lot of space for his recording instruments, he will have to move elsewhere.
"What would happen if I can't stay in New York? I have a whole clientele. And also the loss to the community would be very sad. The community of musicians that revolve around this recording studio has got to be a couple thousand," he says.
Businesses inside are at risk of being displaced since it isn't a protected landmark.
Despite the disheartening news, Bisi is still hopeful that the City Council vote on the rezoning plans next week might offer him one last lifeline at staying.
News 12 reached out to the City Council for comment on the Gowanus rezoning plans and they responded with a statement saying, "From the start, the Gowanus Rezoning has included a provision to preserve the historic buildings of the Old American Can Factory at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, with an innovative approach to maintaining artisan and light industrial uses, while allowing new mixed-income housing to be built on the back of the site. We've been in frequent communication with Martin Bisi of BC Studio and hope it will be one of the uses that can thrive in Gowanus for the long term."


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