Gowanus artists, factory owners urge city to reject Whole Foods proposal

January 25, 2012 11:30AM

A coalition of Gowanus-based artists and factory owners is urging the city to reject a plan by Whole Foods to open a 58,000-square-foot store in the neighborhood, on a site at 3rd Street and Third Avenue that’s currently zoned for only 10,000 square feet of commercial space, the Brooklyn Paper reported.

The project, which is set to go before the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals in February for final approval, has been attracting criticism from locals, who argue that the retailer’s presence in the neighborhood would not only bring a greater degree of traffic, but also set off a high-end development boom and increase rental rates for the area.

“New York City has enough high-end retail,” said Cassandra Weston of the Old American Can Factory, a shared art studio space in Gowanus. “This unique industrial neighborhood needs to be protected.” [Brooklyn Paper]