Shott On Location: Some Day, This Forelorn Wasteland, Too, May Feature Its Own Fromagerie


Chirping birds, the gentle whirr of passing cars, the distant beeping of a truck a few blocks south backing up….

At 10 a.m. on Friday, the corner of 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street in Brooklyn seemed so serene compared to the hustle and bustle of forthcoming construction and the massive commercial traffic soon to follow.

After celebrating its long-awaited, hugely hyped grand opening of a ginormous new supermarket on Houston Street and the Bowery this week, expansive national organic grocerer Whole Foods now turns its attention to three other local sites under development, including this controversial and contaminated tract near the Gowanus Canal.

Nothing “organic” comes to mind when currently surveying the scene.

The vast expanse of green boards and shrouded chain-link set up along the perimeter conceals a field of rubble, trash bags, weeds, and toxic-looking cesspools, visible only at various gaps in the fencing.

By this time next year, Whole Foods plans to have a whopping 58,000-square-foot supermarket and 430-car parking garage built on the desolate site. Yet, with no sign of any clean-up or construction efforts at present, it’s hard to imagine such a massive transformation ever meeting that aggressive timeline.

A company spokesperson, probably still busy with the publicity orgy ongoing on the Bowery, did not immediately return phone calls for comment.

– Chris Shott