Monday, July 31, 2006

Another Brooklyn Food Miracle: Whole Foods to Open in Dumbo

Dumbo Shot

A little while ago, Curbed reported (well, Gowanus Lounge wearing our Curbed mask) that Whole Foods is planning to open a big store in Dumbo. Still our hearts! You can almost envision a time, a few long years from now, when the formerly desperate Brooklynite stands by the fridge wondering if he or she should go to the Dumbo Whole Foods or the one in Gowanus or to the Fairway in Red Hook or to (who knows) the Trader Joe's in Williamsburg.

What we know is this: An inside source at the big food retailer let slip that a Dumbo store is in the works. We don't know an opening date or a location, but process of elimination on the latter leads us to cast an eye in the direction of 20 Jay Street. That is the 40,000 square foot space formerly occupied by ABC Carpet Warehouse. (Another potential space, the Empire Stores, the wonderful Civil War era warehouse is supposed to be a Leviev Boymelgreen retail complex. Unless the J Condo has a vast interior retail space.)

Whole Foods' interest in Dumbo isn't new. The retailer is said to have been looking at the nabe for years, but had previously dismissed the idea because Dumbo was too remote and presented logistical issues. (Not that any of the logistical issue--truck access, parking--will be much easier now.)

Who knows? It could be that Whole Foods is feeling the heat from the new Fairway in Red Hook (remote, but has parking) or that someone counted how big a captive audience will soon exist in Dumbo and Vinegar Hill as big new residential buildings open.

In any case, a Dumbo store would be the second Brooklyn location for Whole Foods, which is also waiting for the toxic muck and ooze to be removed from their site in Gowanus. (Sometime in 2008 or thereabout.) The Dumbo Whole Foods was mentioned in the context of "several" new stores in Brooklyn, so others might also be in the mix. GL's money is on a significant Williamsburg outpost too in a few years, given that all those waterfront towers starting to rise will include hundreds of thousands of square feet of space for retail.

Food shopping! We're going to have more food shopping in Brooklyn.


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