Whole Foods landed $12.9M in tax credits for cleaning up Gowanus site

State provided public funds through Brownfield Cleanup Program
February 07, 2017 06:05PM

Whole Foods in Gowanus

Whole Foods might face yet another argument that it’s overpriced — the grocery store chain received $12.9 million in tax credits for cleaning up a contaminated site near the Gowanus Canal.

The gourmet grocery store, which has become a cliched herald of gentrification, earned two tax credits through the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Program, DNAinfo reported. Under the controversial program, developers receive publicly-funded tax credits to clean up and then build on contaminated sites.

The Whole Foods store, which opened in 2013, sits on a 2.1-ace site at Third Avenue and 3rd Street. The property was formerly home to coal yard, oil company, auto repair business and junkyard, and the land was contaminated with scores of toxins, including lead, mercury and phenol. Whole Foods spent just over $63 million building the store, according to Department of Environmental Control records.

Other properties in Gowanus are a product of the brownfield program, including the Lightstone Group’s TRData LogoTINY luxury apartment at 365 Bond Street.

Critics of the cleanup program have said it’s too much of a handout to developers. According to a 2013 report released by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the state could dish out another $3.1 billion in tax credits to developers in the coming years. [DNAinfo]  — Kathryn Brenzel