Rehab of Gowanus Landmark Coming?

When news broke late last year that Whole Foods would in fact build a store in Gowanus, the company also said it would renovate the landmark building on the edge of its site on Third and Third. The retailer now appears to be taking steps to make good on that pledge. Pardon Me For Asking noticed a permit to install a new roof on the structure. When we stopped by yesterday no work had started on the building, and things are similarly quiet at the grocery site, which you can see a picture of after the jump.
The Coignet Stone Company Building Finally Getting Some Love [PMFA] GMAP DOB


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  • Shouldn’t this be torn down to provide high density housing for the entitled masses who could otherwise not afford to live in Park Slope????

  • Superfund = 10-20 years it will be done if we get lucky and actually find money to do it.

    Whole Foods = 2-5 years

    Superfund should have never been the choice.

  • This building is almost 800 feet from the recognized boundary of Park Slope, so according to the neighborhood naming purists, the words “Park Slope” should never be used in the same paragraph as any statement regarding this building or the Whole Foods.

  • three weeks ago there was a crew emptying the building…

    crimsonson: I didnt know WF offered to clean up the Gowanus. if they did, wtf! if they didnt, u make no sense. im going w door #2.

  • crimsonson, what would you propose doing for the Gowanus?

    I don’t see waiting for each property owner to fully clean each plot of land as being a timely solution, and even then it does not address the nasty stuff in the ground under the streets and canal.

  • that is too beautiful of a building to be marred and tarred with a stupid wholefoods.


  • brooklyn doesn’t need a whole foods. they pay poor wages, treat their employees like garbage and will hurt mom and pop businesses.

  • Supposedly, in the mid-1800s, Mr. Litchfield was able to look down from his villa in what is now the park all the way to his offices here. Glad to hear the little building has a chance of survival no matter who’s responsible.

  • “brooklyn doesn’t need a whole foods. they pay poor wages, treat their employees like garbage and will hurt mom and pop businesses.”

    this is a joke right?

  • DH – I thought that was Wal-Mart
    well I for one am excited for WF- however how do we know the food that they will sell will be safe…

  • Whole Foods is just as anti-union as Wal-Mart, and the founder/CEO is a big supporter of conservative politics.

  • As long as they are not growing the food there, or storing it in the ground/canal without protection, it will be fine.

    Studies have shown that the air quality there is as good as any other spot in Brooklyn.

  • Well it is about time something is done with that horrid little building. Either fix it, or raze it, but do something.

    I don’t care one way or the other about “Whole Foods”, at least something is being done on that site…

    Personally, I would rather see natural land with green, be it weeds and trees, but something natural would be refreshing…..

  • There’s nothing wron with being antu-union, especially if you want to run a profitable business for shareholders. They pay their employees well and the benefits are great at WF.

  • In the 2 minutes of research I did, I saw mixed information on how good their benefits are.

    I see nothing wrong with being anti-union, as long as you are following the laws.

    I just think it is funny that all the unions and many liberals are totally against Wal-Mart while either saying nothing about or outright embracing of Whole Foods.

  • At the time of the debate, it was Superfund vs NYC + private support. The latter was what was Bloomberg championing which IMHO made much more sense.

    Whole Foods site is contaminated by the Gowanus Canal area and will be cleaned more than likely by Whole Foods themselves.

    The rest of Gowanus Canal area will be done via Super Fund. Good luck on that. Not only it will take at a minimum 10 years, it is an all-at-once solution. Meaning the entire area is off limits for anything until EPA is done with it.

    Oh yeah LOL on “Park Slope”

    I LOVE how suddenly 4th and 3rd Ave is “Park Slope” when mentioning Bar Tano, Blackbird, Whole Foods, and other new cafes/galleries.

    But it is “Gowanus” when it comes to the Canal, new high rise condos, taxis and 4th Ave.

    What is next, Bell House is 4th Ave????

    LOL. So freaking obvious.

    “crimsonson: I didnt know WF offered to clean up the Gowanus. if they did, wtf! if they didnt, u make no sense. im going w door #2.”

  • Can’t wait until they build the Whole Foods. It will be nice to just jump into the car rather than take the subway up to Union Square.

    I’d wondered what the deal was with that building when I drove by last weekend. Why is it landmarked? What is it’s significance? It obviously stands out like a sore thumb now, and even renovated, it likely will when Whole Foods is done building there.

  • The Superfund designation was probably a mistake. I have lost all confidence in the ability of Federal agencies. They seem particularly hapless in New York City, which is a place that seems alien to them.
    They will drag this out for a hundred years if they are left to their own rules and regs. The Mayor was right to resist -and I’m no fan of the mayor’s. Local government could have handled this better and faster.
    The Feds are good at one thing: scaring people and being alarmist. To many New Yorkers, who are already ultra-squeamish and hyper sensitive to anything that reminds them of “industrial use”, the Gowanus has become a radioactive Martian river of deadly lava.
    In reality it is a polluted creek that needs to be flushed out and dredged.

  • “Whole Foods is just as anti-union as Wal-Mart, and the founder/CEO is a big supporter of conservative politics.”

    Sounds good to me. Must make people’s heads explode that that is their CEO yet employees are happy and they’ve done more for greening of the food supply than any company.

  • Conservative politics as practiced in the US is disgusting, a defense of the status quo that produces little of value and degrades our culture. On the other hand, businesses that produce real value, including both Whole Foods (distribution of healthy groceries) and Wal-mart (numerous sustainability initiatives) may actually looking past 20th century business strategies. (gets down off soapbox.)

  • In reality it is a polluted creek that needs to be flushed out and dredged.

    I so agree with that!!!!

    Wouldn’t it be easier to dam it, then drain it into the harbor, dredge the bottom of , and actually see what is there without water. i think that would be fun to really see what IS down there, once it is dredged and cleaned, the dam can be opened and the canal can fill up again.

  • You can’t drain the canal without re-routing sewer outflows as well.

    Even draining and dredging will not fix the problem with contaminated land around the canal that continues to seep chemicals into the water.

  • All of NYC is contaminated.
    If you want toxic, you have no further to look than the black snow that currently covers every curb of even the toniest blocks.

  • As a general rule, you do not find polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, mercury, lead and copper in the snow on the curbs.

    All of the earth is contaminated to so extent or another, but that does not mean that all contamination is equal or should be treated equally.

  • or pcbs dripping on our children in class…

  • Such a tiresome and endless discussion. I will always prefer Fairway. That being said my friends, WF has over 40mm sunk in site, they will build it. As a well-known WASP said, EMMIS.

    Restoring the RED & WHITE a must, though it will take a couple years. And getting plans for this site through the State ENCON (dept of env. conservation), City Planning, Feds, landmarks and DOB is underway but will take quite a bit of time my friends.

    Fxxxx fore-evah as they say in gowanus.

    Don’t hold your breath my dears.

  • SO when will WF be open? I need a job and the way things are going I might as well work at a WF with good benefits -not to mention 20% off my weekly Grocery bill which now is due to high food prices insane!

  • This is great! Whole Foods is a company I support. The CEO generously donates to the Conservative cause. Gots to love that!

  • only the Shadow knows

  • What a bunch a loons! Urghh. Anyway, they have been working on the building regularly. I just saw a bunch of workers on the roof just this past Friday. It’s going to be beautiful, so exciting really! And Whole Foods is just a dream come true for so many locals. But keep on with all this silly banter, it’s quite entertaining. (You know who I am talking to.)

  • A few things:
    Blatantninja: see

    Does anybody know if WF owns the property adjacent to their that has not been bulldozed? And if WF doesn’t own it, do you know who does?

    Also, how many of you would be interested in participating in a theoretical survey about the redevelopment of the areas around the canal?

  • conceived to showcase Beton Coignet, a type of concrete that was patented in France by Francois Coignet during the 1850s and produced at this location, this building was constructed ENTIRELY OF CONCRETE IN 1871! Likely the flooring was also made of reinforced concrete. Once the office of the NY & LI Coignet Stone Company, it is the earliest known concrete building in New York City. quite a significant structure in the history of NYC buildings.

    According to city records, this lot and the adjacent lot running along 3rd ave to the canal inlet (2 of 7 lots that make up this block) were purchased together in early 2005 and are owned by “WFm Properties Brooklyn LLC,” an LLC owned by Whole Foods, so I don’t know why they claim to not own it. hmmm.