At this point, there's no stopping the forthcoming Whole Foods set to open sometime this year on Bedford Avenue and North 4th Street in Williamsburg. The site's been under construction in earnest for several years and other tenants—including WeWork and Levi's—have already opened up inside the 242 Bedford space. It's only a matter of time before the 'hood is stampeding into the forthcoming store for hearts of palm and bulk granola.
And yet: The Real Deal reports that nearby grocery store Foodtown has filed a lawsuit against Aurora Associates and Midtown Equities—the companies that purchased the site in 2012—alleging that the groups "wrongfully applied for, and obtained, zoning waivers" for the space. According to the suit, the alleged error will create "woefully inadequate parking" and become a "hazard and nuisance" to the area. (And just you wait until that Apple Store opens across the street.)
Foodtown's claim boils down mostly to the way the building was constructed, mainly that developers initially agreed to convert the existing structure instead of tearing most everything down and starting from scratch. This allegedly led to 100 fewer parking spaces available at the site, which Foodtown claims will negatively impact the neighborhood. The Department of Buildings is also named for not taking action when these allegations were brought to light.
It's understandable that Foodtown would be frustrated by the development, especially when it stands to significantly impact their own sales at their store a half block away. As The Real Deal points out, Trader Joe's is also dropping in soon, creating even more competition for food shopping in the area. But at this point, the best they can hope for is some kind of settlement, if it comes to that.
On a related note, the Brooklyn Harvest Market on Kent at North 5th is part of the same corporation that owns Foodtown, and there's another on Union and Montrose, so they have some options for people who can't afford Whole Foods and can't afford the line times at Trader Joe's.