Big Box Retail

Whole Foods, Brooklyn – City Council voting starts soon..

Whole Foods Market Inc. faces a series of City Council votes starting next week to win final approval for construction of a 52,000-square-foot supermarket next to a 140-year-old landmark in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

COIGNET

Eric Haugesag for The Wall Street JournalThe Coignet building today next to the planned Whole Foods grocery site

The new store is planned to wrap around two sides of the vacant Coignet building, the city’s earliest known concrete building, at the corner of Third Avenue and Third Street. After expected council approvals, the grocery chain would be allowed within five feet of the old building and wants to have its first Brooklyn store open in 2013.

Built in 1872 for the New York & Long Island Coignet Stone Co., the 2½-story building is the sole survivor of a five-acre industrial park built along the Gowanus Canal in the early 1870s.

The elegant Italianite mansion provided office space for Coignet and subsequent companies, including its longest-running tenant, the Brooklyn Improvement Co., from which Coignet leased the land for its stone works.

“It’s a lonely little building,” said Jennifer Gardner, a researcher at the Gowanus Institute, a local think tank. “To some degree, the plans for that site will limit the opportunity for the [Coignet] building, but also provides a potential draw for people to see it and appreciate it in a different way.”

The building received city landmark status in 2006. Two City Council panels overseeing landmarks and planning will vote next week on whether to reduce the Coignet building’s lot size to about 1,720 square feet from 6,250 square feet, a measure that’s already been passed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. If approved, a full City Council vote on the measure is slated for April 18.

Full Article Here:

Extell Unveils New (Improved?) Riverside Center

riverside center1
Extell Development Company showed the public its new design on Wednesday for Riverside Center, the biggest development proposal in the neighborhood, and one of the biggest in the city. It’s got five towers with at least 2,500 apartments, 210,000 square feet of retail, a hotel, a movie theater, an underground automobile service center, a new K-8 school, and a fountain that you can play in with your shoes off. Words can only go so far to describe it, so we took plenty of pictures (at bottom, including a larger picture of the above drawing).

Extell modified its original design to change the heights of buildings and space them out more, and it is getting rid of its proposal to include a Costco or other big-box retailer. But more on that later.

Riverside Center would stretch from 59th to 61st Streets, and West End Avenue to the edge of the West Side Highway (in the future a new road called Riverside Boulevard will flank the development to the West).

Continue to Full Article Here

By: Avi – Westside Independent