The shores of the notoriously polluted Gowanus Canal might get a huge housing complex after all.

Real estate firm Lightstone Group will build a 700-unit rental apartment complex on a canal-side stretch between Bond, Carroll and Second streets, The Brooklyn Paper reported. The group’s size-and-height proposal is highly similar to the Toll Brothers‘ former plan to raise 460 luxury condominiums and townhouses, which was discarded when the waterway earned Superfund cleanup status in 2010.

Toll Brothers bought the land in 2004 intending to build a 600,000-square-foot mixed-use development, but did not follow through on the $5.75 million down payment, claiming that the long clean-up process made the project too risky.

The Lightstone Group development will be capped at 12 stories — the same limitation for the Toll Brothers’ abandoned project. The $200 million-plus proposal will target young renters looking for studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units.The developer will install anti-flooding infrastructure, charge below-market rent for 140 apartments and create a landscaped public promenade, Lightstone Group spokesman Ethan Geto told The Brooklyn Paper.

“It turns the waterfront into what’s essentially a park — it will be a lovely and lively area,” Geto said.

The area around the Gowanus Canal has remained largely undeveloped, due to the noxious water, which has tested positive for cholera, typhoid, typhus and gonorrhea microbes after decades of industrial dumping.

Lightstone Group said that its plan is unrelated to the costly canal clean-up process, which could take over ten years; construction could even start by 2013, pending City Planning approval.

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