In order to be able to build its store in Gowanus, Whole Foods agreed to preserve and repair the landmarked Coignet building, which sits on the corner of the lot. But locals are claiming that the construction of the supermarket has created a huge crack in the historic structure—possibly the first concrete building in the city—and that Whole Foods doesn't even care. Whole Foods, for its part, is claiming that the building was just like that when they got it, telling Brooklyn Paper, "Nothing that occurred in relations to building our building for the store affected what's happening to that building. I don't think anything caused that crack. The building is a bit weathered." Although the supermarket chain is still promising that it will eventually fix up the Coignet's facade, this is not likely to help out the building's short-term sale prospects, as it was put on the market back in January.
Other locals have different concerns about the Whole Foods, set to open next Tuesday. "Whole Foods is one more example of stores catering to the affluent newcomers," said one resident, referring to the planned 700-unit Lightstone Group development. Another said it reminded her of a "suburban strip mall." Welcome to the neighborhood, Whole Foods!
· Whole Foods in Gowanus Symbolizes Area's Redevelopment [WSJ]
· Whole Foods on crack: We didn't do it [Brooklyn Paper]
· Gowanus Whole Foods coverage [Curbed]