(Then again, it's the New York Times.)
The article is Whole Foods Faces Decisive Vote in Brooklyn. Fascinating story except for one thing: it's a story about design, about buildings, about neighborhood and how they are arranged on a site. So the story makes little sense and raises more questions than it answers. Since the issue is a real one, before City decision-makers, I'd like to know more.
Does the story show a site plan? No.
Does it explain the plan and why/how Whole Foods uses a
• 4.2 acres site (aprox 183,000 square feet) with
• a "52,000-square-foot, two-story store" -- that's a footprint of 26,000 square feet;
• with 248 spaces (approx 300 SF per car) yielding about 75,000 SF;
• giving a total of about 100,000 SF of unaccounted-for ground?
So what happened to the rest of the site? Is this part of a larger project? Is is credible that the current zoning allows only a 10,000 sf building on a 183,000 sf site? ("Whole Foods’ proposed 52,000-square-foot...more than five times bigger than the zoning regulations currently allow.")
The story is so confusing that only a design-illiterate would write it and design-illiterate people would read it without offering the dog look. The site is on the Gowanus Canal — is access to the canal allowed? desirable? part of the project? It would seem that the "waterfront" issue might be germane.
Apparent there are artists living nearby --- and "Bradford Reed, a musician with a studio across the street from the Whole Foods site, said he was resigned to change, but would prefer a park to a supermarket." Is that a credible statement? You gotta tell me more. Maybe this article is part of a continuing series and the Times has already covered it. Well then, give me the links. This
(Note: I am a bit perplexed about why anyone would not want a Whole Foods there but I take no definite position. It may be that some opponents indeed want Whole Foods to do a more urbane store. See the fascinating alternative plan at www.gowanusmade.org. That Whole Foods would object to alternatives surprises me slightly. But my commentary is mostly on yet another example of sub-par design/environmental reporting, not the project itself.)
For some context, here the neighborhood, with the Whole Foods site to the right: