Whole Foods Market, the national chain of natural- and organic-food supermarkets, recently updated Community Board 6 on progress toward building its new outlet on Third Avenue and Third Street.
The site and store have been the subject of many talks over several years between the company and community leaders, including the Park Slope Civic Council, to get a more neighborhood-friendly, environmentally responsive store.
“We are now finally under way with the construction process and look forward to bringing Brooklyn residents their first Whole Foods Market next year,” Michael Sinatra, Whole Foods’ Northeast Region public-affairs manager, wrote in a recent letter to CB6 District Manager Craig Hammerman. Sinatra provided updates on several aspects of construction, including:
- Remediation/brownfields cleanup of the property: The company received a “certificate of completion” from the state Department of Environmental Conservation earlier this year. The site is now officially remediated and ready for construction.
- Site preparation: Whole Foods’ contractor has completed demolition of the remaining deteriorating structures on the property and is now preparing the site for construction. This first phase, according to Sinatra, should be completed in the coming weeks.
- Construction: Work on the market’s foundation should begin in late fall, with the store’s steel frame expected to start going up around the beginning of the year. Construction should be completed next fall.
- Renovations to Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building: “As part of our development plan,” Sinatra wrote, “we have committed to undertaking repairs to the landmarked Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building that is located adjacent to our site … Our architects are currently working on drawings for the renovation of the facade, which will then need to be approved by New York landmarks officials. Once approved, we will be able to move forward on exterior repairs to the building in conjunction with the store’s construction.” He also noted that, even though the company is repairing the historic structure, it does not actually own the building, which will not be used by Whole Foods Market.
Sinatra added that the Gowanus store will feature many Brooklyn-based producers, and that hiring for the store will begin next summer.
from the October 2012 Civic News