Call it Hole Foods! Grocer will clean toxic site, but may not build store

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The proposed site of a Whole Foods store along the Gowanus Canal may remain nothing more than a hole, but at least it will be a decontaminated one.

State officials announced late last month that a clean-up of the toxic site at Third Avenue and Third Street will commence on Jan. 11 and is expected to take three months — though it is uncertain whether the organic (and some say overpriced) grocery store will ever be built.

“There hasn’t been any determination when — or if — we will open a store,” said Whole Foods spokesman Michael Sinatra. “We’re focused on the present, the clean-up of the property. Then we’ll take it from there and identify what we’ll do next.”

Since announcing its plans for its first Brooklyn location in 2006, Whole Foods has steadily backed away from building on the site in question. The latest evidence that Whole Foods thinks the site is spoiled came from the Department of Environmental Conservation, which noted that the clean-up was originally expected to be done in conjunction with construction of a new grocery store.

“The construction of the [Whole Foods] will not take place at this time,” said a letter from the state agency. “A soil cover will be installed at the site following remedial excavations.”

Now, the clean-up will proceed without any certainty as to what will be built on the property, which occupies the majority of the block bordering an arm of the malodorous canal.

The potential site has been the subject of much speculation in the last year. Last July, a Whole Foods spokeswoman told The Brooklyn Paper that the grocery store had no plans to build there, only to later insist that the company was still weighing its options.

The clean-up will be carried out as part of a state program that encourages developers to voluntarily decontaminate brownfields by doling out tax incentives.

Updated 5:16 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

sid from boerum hill says:
told you so.
Jan. 5, 2010, 12:45 pm
Shrew from Red Hook says:
I don't believe for one second that Whole Foods produce is actually organic. Their growing fields are in Texas.
Jan. 5, 2010, 4:36 pm
Blan from prospect heights says:
Good. Brooklyn doesn't need Whole Foods, its faux green veneer or its anti-urban parking lot.
Jan. 8, 2010, 8:47 pm
gypsy24 from NY says:
Thats really a huge news. Hope it will work out lastly.
Thanks for sharing.

Richard Antony

ptac cleaning
May 17, 2010, 8:22 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: