There are a lot of issues in the Gowanus neighborhood. Some of them controversial, some of them not so controversial. A more controversial issue is the building of Whole Foods at 3rd Ave and 3rd St. The opinions behind this particular issue varies wildly. Those who are for it believe it will help Gowanus to be ‘the next big neighborhood’ and strengthen the economics within the area. Those against it believe it will kill a unique neighborhood and make way for a corporate group which will destroy local businesses. Issues like these are hard to sort out. But one should take a look at all the data available. One such group that is against the Whole Food site has put together some compelling information that is worth reviewing. This group called the Gowanus Institute describes itself as
an independent think tank dedicated to realizing the most productive physical, cultural and economic development in the Gowanus neighborhood that will enrich its working and living communities as well as the city with a balanced set of environmental & social profits, economic value and fiscal benefit.”
So basically the group has been formed to figure out what to do with all the dramatically changes in the neighborhood. The current issue of the building of Whole Foods in Gowanus is taking center stage and for good reason. This issue will change Gowanus forever. Despite public forums many of the more controversial parts of the Whole Foods plan have not been highlighted by the media. (To be fair the media just looks for its tag line, which is easier to get in a press release than a public forum; even GYFO does it.)
The Gowanus Institute did an independent study of the Whole Foods site and discovered that there are many problems with the design for the mega-store. There study finds that with the Whole Foods there will be a massive increase in traffic in the area. They also point out that the purpose site of 3rd Ave. and 3rd St. is located in a flood zone and on the banks of the Superfunded (really polluted) Gowanus Canal.
Take a look at their findings, their petition to prevent the building of Whole Foods at 3rd Ave, and more information on their site: www.GowanusInstitute.org
Most of all make your own opinion and make your voice heard.