The seven-year roller coaster ride that has been Whole Foods’ Brooklyn saga may be taking another nose dive. The blissful ride started in 2005, long before Brian Williams had ever heard of Brooklyn. It slowed to a snail’s pace in 2007 and then completely halted in 2008 in the midst of the grotesque Gowanus Canal’s Superfunding. New York State was nice enough to clean up the property and set Whole Foods back on track in 2010.
The whole ordeal has left us twisted and nauseous from the bureaucratic and communal ups, downs, and loop-de-loops. (Or maybe the toxins are making us nauseous.) Regardless, Whole Foods might be one rubber stamp away from approval, but the Gowanus locals are not succumbing without one last fight.
The Gowanus crowd fears Whole Foods will poison the neighborhood’s artistic, DIY heart, Crain’s reports:
Some residents and small businesses would like to keep the vacant lot, nestled between Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, zoned for small- and medium-scale manufacturing—a dwindling asset they want to protect. A recent report by the Gowanus Institute claims the site could be developed to create three times the 300 retail jobs Whole Foods promises. Armed with this data, the think tank has urged locals to oppose the plan by attending public forums and writing letters to the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals, which must rule on the variance.
Several hundred locals have signed an online petition claiming that Whole Foods would “substantially alter the essential manufacturing character of the Gowanus.”
As if any other developer would want to build on a Superfund site. Whatever, Gowanus. You can keep your Park Slope Food Coop.