Monday, February 11, 2008

Gowanus Whole Foods Still Faces a Few Hurdles

Last week, the Department of Buildings issued the first permit for the planned Gowanus Whole Foods on Third Street. The permit, which was first reported by Brownstoner, would allow for some work on the foundation. The Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus group, which opposes construction of the big project, sent an email to Community Board 6 pointing out that the project still doesn't have the go-ahead from the Department of Environmental Conservation without which it can't start construction. Here's some of the email:
The bloggs announced this week that the DOB has granted permits for Whole Foods to begin construction. The DOB did approve their Underpinning and Shoring application but has not approved their zoning and architectural application for the building...The concern here is that, while the DOB has permitted the Shoring and Underpinning work, Whole Foods has yet to complete their State DEC Wetlands Application...Once Whole Foods completes their wetlands application the DEC will hold a 30 day public comment period before issuing permits. The DEC office stated, today, that if Whole Foods begins any work before they have a wetlands permits, "the DEC will shut them down".
The somewhat toxic site, by the way, is still open for public tours and viewing via its perpetually open flimsy fence.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really can't understand how anyone would be opposed to this project. Even if it is a wetland, it is a really polluted one a best. Do we really want to encourage wildlife to hangout in a toxic soup? It's not like we're talking about virgin natural preserves or anything, it's the Gowanus Canal! Lavender Lake! Before Whole Foods cam along that site just sat empty and useless, for both man and beast. Al least Whole Foods will be brining some investment into the cleanup of the site, as well as returning it a tax producing property, and providing a quality grocery store in a neighborhood that needs one now and will desperately need one once the re-zoning goes through.

These people are just dumb.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto, develop don't destroy.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last we heard from the DEC, they had concluded that the site wasn't a "significant threat to public health or the environment." (That was in this Daily News article, from Nov.:

I've heard for awhile that they need to have the 30-day review, but it's never been clear when this will happen or what, exactly, it will consist of.

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on now. How can anyone be for the ridicules piece of architecture Whole Foods has planned for this site?

How can anyone believe that this lame idea for a building will be good for our community in any way? Come on now explain how this is developing this neighborhood? EXPLAIN? It seems that the only reason to be behind this silly idea of a building is if you need to promote some other equally lame development addenda along the canal.

The whole structure (at least 95% of it) is a legal cellar--BURIED below the ground, BURIED BELOW THE WATER SURFACE! And all to this to play tricks with zoning law!

If this was good development, then the developer would do the right thing by this environment and not burry such a large chunk of nonsense in the ground here! If this was good development, then the developer would at least TRY to make a decent piece of architecture, one that addresses the landscape on which it will co-exist. This community deserves better than what is being proposed here especially since the public is paying for a good portion of it under the brownfield cleanup program.

9:30 PM  

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