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Tuesday
Feb282012

It's Official: Whole Foods is Coming!

The intersection of Third Avenue and Third Street is officially about to get a lot more interesting. Currently in the hinterlands of Gowanus, within a few years it'll be a hub of activity all brought on by a brand new Whole Foods, which has been struggling for years to get clearance to build a megamart complete with a greenhouse on the site.

Brownstoner is reporting that the Board of Standards and Appeals cleared the last regulatory hurdle earlier this afternoon, a variance request, and that construction will begin "as soon as possible" on the 56,000 square foot supermarket, which has been in the works for eight years now.

So now that the Gowanus Whole Foods is officially a go, do you think it'll impact the neighborhood in a positive or negative way?

Reader Comments (18)

I don't think it'll have much of an impact on the meat of Park Slope, but the Third Avenue area will certainly change dramatically over there.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen K.

Fairway didnt exactly transform Red Hook so it remains to be seen but it is a huge anchor for more development to come.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

easy walking distance is always better. this is not easy walking distance (with groceries in tow) for the majority of Park Slopers

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Paul

I miss the hookers that used to stroll 3rd avenue

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan

Just wish this was a Trader Joe's going there and not a Whole foods, but, I am sure tons of people are happy with it

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

Since I live on 2nd Street near 4th, it's an easy stroll for me! Long overdue for sure.....

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMarion

It's not going to take business away from Coop. Other than that, take business away from Key Food? Be my guest. It's certainly a much better second option.

I do feel for Brendan and his hookers.

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

I highly doubt this will take business away from either Key Food, very different stores, different products and different types of people who go to both stores. Though, I never go to 7th Avenue Key Food anyway,

February 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

Its going to take an amazing store to get me to not do my grocery shopping online with Fresh Direct.

My one big hope is that this store is something like their flagship in Austin. Best breakfast tacos ever.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPark Slope Dad

I think Fairway absolutely was the catalyst for the subsequent wave of commercial enterprises in Red Hook, especially on Van Brunt. Fairway is responsible for hundreds of visitors to Red Hook by other Brooklynites who wouldn't normally be exposed to the neighborhood.

Secondly, lots of Park Slopers drive to the grocery store, to Key Food, Trader Joe, the Coop, Fairway, you name it. So I doubt the fact that 3rd and 3rd isn't comfortable walking distance with groceries for some of us will be a barrier to their success.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMe(h)

Agree with me(h), we drive to Trader Joe's all the time, the fact that this place will be on 3rd and 3rd and not easily walkable will NOT be a deterrent at all to shoppers. Just like tons of people from Park Slope shop at Fairway, they aren't walking there either

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

The troll is back, FWIW.

I read over me(h)'s comment on Van Brunt, and it had me thinking as to how many Fairway shoppers actually stop and see what else is on Van Brunt. There's been a tiny bit of turnover with the boutiques several blocks away, and places like Fort Defiance and Baked still tend to cater to both locals and people who specifically make the trip there. Like Ikea, I fear that Fairway is more of a destination in and of itself and may not be positively be affecting businesses several blocks away. I'd welcome numbers that say otherwise. I love Red Hook.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

Agree that the impact on Key and Met and the Coop and the greengrocers will be minimal. But, can you imagine Fourth Ave. on a Saturday or Sunday?
The marked increase in auto traffic we've seen in the past three years will be further increased by people driving from all around to shop here. Feel badly for people who bought or rent in the Fourth Ave. corridor. Not to mention that every car owner in the Slope will be shopping there on Saturdays and Sundays. From a consumer standpoint, although overpriced, their quality is excellent.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous552

Stopped into Whole Foods on Houston St to look around. Employee asked: "Can I help you?" I said: "Not at these prices!"

I told her that if she took a cab to Brooklyn, shopped at the food coop and took a cab back to Manhattan, she'd save money.

In addition, like most large companies, Whole Foods is anti-union:

From Mother Jones (4/6/0): "Shortly before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the manager of a Whole Foods grocery store in the San Francisco Bay Area gathered his employees in a conference room for a chat about labor organizing. 'This is not a union-bashing thing whatsoever,' the manager began, adding, however, that he’d called the meeting because Whole Foods believed Obama would sign the Employee Free Choice Act, legislation intended to ease unionization that was opposed by the company’s lobbyists. According to a tape of the meeting obtained by Mother Jones, the manager went on to imply that joining a union would lead to reprisals: 'It’s interesting to note that once you become represented by the union,' he said, 'basically everything, every benefit you have, is kind of thrown out the window, and you renegotiate a contract.' ”

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLew

"Not to mention that every car owner in the Slope will be shopping there on Saturdays and Sundays. From a consumer standpoint, although overpriced, their quality is excellent."

I'd wager to say a whole lot of car-owning Slopers aren't going to give up their Coop memberships because Whole Foods is opening. I agree they'll draw crowds, but I also don't see them drastically affecting the shopping habits of a lot of people. Other than ready-to-eat foods (taking some of my business from the Larder, maybe?) or a good piece of fish one night, when would I go there? That's not going to be more than, maybe, once a month.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

What percentage of car-owning Slope residents are coop members? I'd say 5-10%. Judging from my block, where we know most, if not all, of our neighbors, that estimate is even a bit high.

Ask another question: what percentage of car-owning Slope residents are former coop members and I'd say closer to 50%. There comes a time in almost every coop member's life when working one shift every four weeks simply doesn't fit into one's lifestyle.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteranonymous552

anonymous: No one here has numbers on this. Not you. Not me. We're all guessing. The Park Slope Coop is more than 15,000 members strong. Those members come from somewhere and, hell no, we don't come to a point where we decide to quit. We come to point where we consider quitting, take a look around, and realize how good we have it.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterParkPlace

I believe the Park Slope Food Coop has more than 16,000 members now according to a coordinator at a recent General Meeting. We do expect to lose a certain percentage of members every year for many reasons, but their places are very quickly filled by new members or returning members. I once left the coop for a number of years but later returned and I'm one of those "true believers" who consider the coop to be one of the finest institutions anywhere. And I've shopped at many co-ops around the country. I have no interest in Whole Foods.

There are also new co-ops opening up around Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Food Coalition, started by a committee of the PSFC, has been working to encourage new co-ops, community gardens and farmers markets. It is an attempt to bring good food at reasonable prices to all areas of Brooklyn -- Whole Foods does not have reasonable prices, so many Brooklynites can not shop there.

February 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLew

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