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Whole Foods Faces Final Hurdle, And Yet Another Battle With Community

Compiled by Linda Collins
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

GOWANUS — Whole Foods, which is close to beginning construction on its new store at Third Street and Third Avenue in Gowanus — its first in Brooklyn — is facing another community battle.

According to Crain’s New York Business in a Feb. 12 online report, “a growing group of local artists, residents and manufacturers” is rallying to torpedo the plan, stating that the new store will hurt the Gowanus area’s burgeoning creative and manufacturing industries.

Some would like to keep the vacant lot zoned for small- and medium-scale manufacturing. Others claim that small retail development would create three times the 300 retail jobs promised by Whole Foods.

Crain’s notes that the upscale grocer’s final hurdle, set for action by the Board of Standards and Appeals later this month, is a requested variance to allow construction of the 58,000-square-foot store on a lot zoned for 10,000 square feet of commercial space.

Crain’s also points out that Whole Foods already cut the size of its store by 10,000 square feet, nearly halved the number of parking spaces to 250 from 420, and agreed to install a 20,000-square-foot greenhouse on the store’s roof to supply some of its produce — all in response to input from the community.

February 13, 2012 - 10:29am


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