One reason not everyone was supporting the EPA slapping a Superfund sticker on the Gowanus Canal was because of the stigma that comes along with that label. Bloomberg and certain developers were fearing the fallout of a decision to Superfund, and the Toll Brothers were even facing a multimillion dollar lawsuit after signing a $21.5 million contract with owner Joseph Phillips, which they refused to pay.
Now the Brooklyn Paper reports that the Toll Brothers have officially bailed on their plans to build a mixed-use project along the Gowanus Canal because of the Superfund stigma, and the fact that it will take the federal government at least 10 years to clean up the mess in the Gowanus. In making the move to pull out of the project, they left behind their $5.75MM down payment. The company's VP told the paper, “It just didn’t financially make sense to close on the properties and then have to wait 15 to 20 years until we could develop them. Fifteen years of having our money out the door and not having a return didn’t make financial sense.”
Allegedly the owners are keeping the property, which will likely "just sit there" for awhile—so we're guessing the canal is safe from a luxury condo takeover, for now.