It turns out that the ground beneath Gowanus is not too toxic for organic quinoa and kombucha tea. After years of stops and starts (mostly stops) and at least one Curbed Grim Reaper graphic, Whole Foods has announced it plans to move forward with its first Brooklyn store at Third Avenue and 3rd Street. That's right, the promised Gowanus gentrification machine is finally coming to service all those new condos nearby?by late 2012, according to Crain's?now that the master cleanse of the land is complete. Brownstoner has the text of the e-mail sent by Whole Foods to the local community board, and it reveals that this is not going to be your ordinary Whole Foods superstore. Rooftop greenhouse, anyone?
All the details are vital, but especially these:
1) The store will be 52,000 square feet, 25% smaller than the original plan.
2) There will be a "40 foot public esplanade for our neighbors to enjoy."
3) Parking has nearly been cut in half, down to 248 spaces, which means the parking will not be in an at-grade lot instead of in a new "parking structure." Fear not, hippies, there will be recharging stations for electric vehicles as well as bike parking.
4) There was originally going to be parking on the building's roof. Now there will be a 20,000-square-foot greenhouse growing produce that will be sold in the store, almost like what bloggers asked for back in 2006. As long as our carrots don't touch the toxic Gowanus soil, we're cool with that.
5) The store will "jog" around the insanely creepy 19th century building on the site, which Whole Foods does not own. Still, the store will fix up the building's exterior and give it a new roof. Nice guy, that Whole Foods.
6) Here's the one sticky situation: Whole Foods needs a zoning variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals to build above-grade. But could anyone possibly oppose this plan? Oops, we forgot what city we're in. Forget we asked!
· BREAKING: Gowanus Whole Foods Confirmed! [Brownstoner]
· Tentative opening set for first Bklyn Whole Foods [Crain's]
· Gowanus Whole Foods coverage [Curbed]