Friday, January 05, 2007

Gowanus Whole Foods #3: Thumbs Down to Green Roof

Whole Foods has rejected putting a green roof on its Gowanus megastore. Company representatives delivered the news in person at the Park Slope Civic Council meeting on Thursday night. It would have been an environmental "gesture, but it wasn't meaningful," said architect David Ball, "In other locations, it may make more sense." Mr. Ball said the green roof had been considered early on, but rejected in favor of building a 40-foot wide "promenade" along the Gowanus running the length of the back of the store. (The space will have greenery and seating and open during store hours, which will likely be from 8AM-10PM.)

"We thought that the best bang for the buck on how to make it a green resource was on the canal side," Mr. Ball said. "That's where our focus had been rather than the green roof. It made more sense to focus that green energy on the canal."

Marni Horwitz, one of those advocating for the green roof told Whole Foods execs at the meeting that the chain has "an opportunity to do something innovative and great" at the Gowanus site. "I hope you would reconsider," she said.

While the retailer appears to have definitively ruled out a green roof, the idea gained some support among members of the Park Slope Civic Council pushing for a reduction of parking at the store as a way of cutting traffic it would generate. (There will be 120 parking spaces on the roof.) The Council plans to send a letter to Whole Foods pitching other green alternatives and reiterating concerns about parking and traffic. It hopes to invite Whole Foods back for another community meeting.

Related Posts:
Gowanus Whole Foods #1: The Big Picture
Gowanus Whole Foods #2: Execs Say Toxics Under Control


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whole Foods has rejected talking with our community in general.

They must be banking on all those drivers coming form other areas. And the people on 3rd street are believing there will be less traffic past their homes.

10:21 AM  

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