Eight years after Whole Foods Market bought a 4.2-acre lot on the corner of Third Street and Third Avenue, a city panel will vote Tuesday on whether to approve a special permit for the store, which would be five times bigger than current zoning regulations allow, says the New York Times.
At a hearing in January, local manufacturers and artists to the 52,000-square-foot supermarket, saying that Brooklyn’s industrial and creative industries should be preserved and that a big-box retailer would hurt local small businesses.
But last June, , with amendments for a traffic study after it’s opening, an earlier nightly closing time, more plantings on the walkways, and a confirmation from the Environmental Protection Agency that the location of the store would not interfere with the Superfund clean-up process at the Gowanus Canal.
On Monday, the Gowanus Institute released plans for an alternative use of the space, called Gowanus Industrial Park: A Center for Culinary and Industrial Innovation. The group proposes a smaller 10,000 square-foot Whole Foods store that mainly sells local products and food prepared on-site at a commercial kitchen space, as well as a training facility for chefs. A second building, 295,000 square-feet wide and five stories tall, would house “creative and green industries.”
The Gowanus Institute’s plan says it will create about 900 jobs, while the proposed full-size Whole Foods store would produce about 350 jobs.