Gowanus Whole Foods clears first hurdle

June 06, 2011 09:58AM

Whole Foods has won the support of a Community Board 6 panel for its planned Gowanus Canal superstore, despite calls from locals for it to downsize. According to the Brooklyn Paper, the proposal for a 56,000-square-foot store, 20,000-square-foot greenhouse and 250-space parking lot at Third Avenue and 3rd Street, is already scaled back from a previous, 68,000-square-foot plan that included 420 parking spaces. Nonetheless, the company still needs a zoning variance in order to build more than 10,000 square feet there. The proposal has already been delayed once for environmental cleanup after the company found toxins at the site (hopefully they did a better job than Lowe’s). The project, which would open in 2012, months after the new Barclays Center arena, is expected to draw more than 8,700 cars to the neighborhood on weekends — a point of contention amongst opponents who asked for the store to provide shuttle service to ease traffic congestion. Whole Foods will need approval from the Board of Standards and Appeal, which considers the community board’s recommendation, in order to proceed (note: correction appended). [Brooklyn Paper]