Still No Decision on Gowanus Whole Foods


Pardon Me for Asking reports on yesterday’s hearing at the Board of Standards and Appeals about Whole Foods’ request to build a larger store than zoning allows on 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue. The BSA once again extended the hearing and won’t make a decision about the proposed 58,000-square-foot Gowanus supermarket until the end of next month. People who live and work near the long-planned store showed up to testify against the plans, as they did at last month’s hearing, arguing against the project on the grounds that it could drive small businesses out of the area. Opponents “called the project out-of-scale, refuted Whole Foods Market’s hardship claims, argued that the variance will open the way for more such variances and will ultimately lead to more big-box development,” according to Pardon Me for Asking. The Brooklyn Paper notes that if the variance is granted, Whole Foods hopes to have its first supermarket in Brooklyn finished on the property by early next year.
BSA Delays Decision On Gowanus Whole Foods Market Till February [PMFA]
Dissent Sprouts Against Grocery’s Gowanus Plans [BK Paper]
No Resolution in First Hearing Over Gowanus Whole Foods [Brownstoner]
Whole Foods Saga Drags on as BSA Blessing is Sought [Brownstoner]

17 Comment

  • Whats wrong with these people and this project.?

    ust build the damn Whole Foods. ANYTHING on this piece of crap land has to be better than the way it is now.
    What will be so out of scale here?, it is no mans land, in a crap neighborhood.
    What small business are in the area anyway? there is nothing down there….

  • Whats wrong with these people and this project.?

    ust build the damn Whole Foods. ANYTHING on this piece of crap land has to be better than the way it is now.
    What will be so out of scale here?, it is no mans land, in a crap neighborhood.
    What small business are in the area anyway? there is nothing down there….

  • architect66

    Stargazer, I guess you are too busy looking up at the stars to notice the numerous small businesses (and large industrial and utility businesses) with locations in the area. The City has designated the area an Industrial Business Zone in order to preserve what’s left of the manufacturing base here. It would be unwise to compromise the city’s zoning and industrial policy to cater to a single business craving an exception to the rules. There are numerous valid objections to the project, and many better uses of the site that are allowed as-of-right.

  • architect66

    Stargazer, I guess you are too busy looking up at the stars to notice the numerous small businesses (and large industrial and utility businesses) with locations in the area. The City has designated the area an Industrial Business Zone in order to preserve what’s left of the manufacturing base here. It would be unwise to compromise the city’s zoning and industrial policy to cater to a single business craving an exception to the rules. There are numerous valid objections to the project, and many better uses of the site that are allowed as-of-right.

  • is 58k sq ft really that big?

    I’m concerned about lack of parking and all the traffic overflow. But what does it matter if they tack on a second story, like all the other NYC whole foods?

  • They certainly have a hardship case, given they are over 40mm in to a grocery store project. The environmental was killer, as were many other urban delays. People who work in American Can across street should be super happy to have this, wonder why so many object? Who lives near this that won’t benefit?

    Arch66 – there is a huge pathmark several blocks south, a Lowe’s too and the rest of that mall area….. Whole Foods will bring business to the area, rather than the reverse ….. This is still commercial use south of 3rd, which is City plan.

    What other uses can economically use this land? Parking?

    • architect66

      It is a “self-created” hardship. The environmental characteristics of the area were well known by WFM when they went in, as was the site’s location in a flood plane. Likewise, the zoning was a published published fact, easily discovered through due diligence on the part of WFM.

      When you say “who lives near this that won’t benefit” – that is exactly the problem. There is no need to create another Williamsburg-like residential enclave in this area. By the way the Lowes is a permitted use. The IBZ is intended by the City to preserve the city’s “Industrial” infrastructure – so you are not correct that the city’s plan is to promote “commercial use” South of 3rd Avenue.

      What businesses will WFM bring to the area? What businesses did Lowes or Pathmark bring for that matter. Businesses in the area are small manufacturers, shops, craftsmen, distributors, etc. – and most of these don’t have (or need) a visible street presence.

  • They certainly have a hardship case, given they are over 40mm in to a grocery store project. The environmental was killer, as were many other urban delays. People who work in American Can across street should be super happy to have this, wonder why so many object? Who lives near this that won’t benefit?

    Arch66 – there is a huge pathmark several blocks south, a Lowe’s too and the rest of that mall area….. Whole Foods will bring business to the area, rather than the reverse ….. This is still commercial use south of 3rd, which is City plan.

    What other uses can economically use this land? Parking?

  • Meh. Eff Whole Foods. Who needs ‘em? Go build their parking lot in Bay Ridge.

  • What businesses will WFM bring to the area? What businesses did Lowes or Pathmark bring for that matter

    Why do they have to bring business to the area?
    Anything on this plot of land will be good.

    Also, I go to Lowe’s and Path Mark all the time, so that was a good thing, and I loooove the parking lot…….

    so I think Whole Foods would be a plus to the neighborhood.

    • architect66

      Hey, Stargazer, that was bkreveteran’s argument – that WFM would bring businesses to the neighborhood. I’m not sure about the rest of what you’re saying – your love of the parking lot seems like trolling, and you’ve already admitted that you think nothing’s in the “neighborhood” (wrong); so your conclusion that anything there would be good is based on ______.

  • What businesses will WFM bring to the area? What businesses did Lowes or Pathmark bring for that matter

    Why do they have to bring business to the area?
    Anything on this plot of land will be good.

    Also, I go to Lowe’s and Path Mark all the time, so that was a good thing, and I loooove the parking lot…….

    so I think Whole Foods would be a plus to the neighborhood.

  • Pmfa is such a shite blog, why do you reference that idjut? Can the font BE any bigger? R we in kindygarten?

  • While I appreciate having a Trader Joe’s 3 blocks away from my Brooklyn Heights home, I wish Whole Foods or Fairway would build a store on Atlantic Ave. or another street nearby. There is a large, empty lot on Atlantic Ave.