Defined by the canal running through its center, Gowanus is a neighborhood in the early stages of gentrification. Gowanus Canal was originally built to join Red Hook to the interior of Brooklyn and facilitated the development of the rest of Brooklyn. However, the Canal soon became the dumping site of raw sewage and an alleged Mafia dumping ground. As the shipping industry ended, Gowanus was left with abandoned warehouses and a heavily contaminated canal. Artists and community activists gradually moved in, turning the warehouses into art spaces and bringing life to the once industrial area. Today, Gowanus Canal is an EPA Superfund cleanup site, and developers are scouting the neighborhood for opportunities. Residential options are growing but still limited to townhouses, single-family homes and new condos. Concert venues, galleries, bars and restaurants are major attractions, and Gowanus is considered a new “hipster” hotspot. However, the decontamination of the Gowanus Canal won’t be finished until 2025, leaving the fate of the neighborhood to be decided.