Just on the heels of the news that they’ve lured Smorgasburg vendors to their Houston St. location, Whole Foods circulated a memo announcing that their first Brooklyn location is set to open next fall in Gowanus.
While the often-maligned Williamsburg location won’t be opening until at least 2014, plans are now solidly underway for the store’s location at 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, including the company’s agreed-upon renovation of the adjacent historical landmark Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building.
And because, you know, this is nothing if not a (most likely lucrative) love story between a corporation and a borough so eerily well suited to it, the location will reportedly include a 20,000-square-foot greenhouse, along with food from local vendors including Brooklyn Brine, Six Point, Mast Brothers, and People’s Pops. The company will also host local job fairs closer to the open date in hopes of providing “high-quality new employment opportunities” for neighborhood residents, according to the memo.
The company has actually owned the property since 2004, but construction was stalled after the discovery (and subsequent clean-up) of toxic oil tanks on-site. It’s pretty easy to mock anything Whole Foods does, particularly when it’s related to the Brooklyn “brand” or whatever (what can we say, it’s knee-jerk), but with this kind of time and community investment, it actually does sort of seem like they’ve paid their dues. Plus, with those contested new condos coming in, the timing is kind of perfect. If, for whatever reason, you’ve been looking to scoop up cheap property in Gowanus, now’s the time to jump on it before this all goes much, much further.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.