With a new Whole Foods poised to open in Gowanus by the banks of a toxic Superfund site, here come the trend pieces about how the neighborhood has arrived. We've seen this movie before, in 2012, 2008, and, wow, 2006, to name a few. Last week the Daily News reported on the "battle for Gowanus," which pits the pioneering, arts-inclined residents against the big yupster developers that threaten to price them out. Today the Wall Street Journal gets in on the fun:
"The old-timers see: We are losing" said Katia Kelly, a Gowanus blogger and longtime local. "Whole Foods is one more example of stores catering to the affluent newcomers."
Whole Foods sees itself as "competitively priced with other options in the neighborhood … it is our company's belief that healthy foods should be accessible to all," said Michael Sinatra, a spokesman for the market. Plenty of fresh-faced Gowanus residents have championed the grocery store and believe it will make the neighborhood better.
"Gowanus is hot," said Hans Hesselein, the 32 year-old director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy, an environmental group. "I mean, c'mon, it's Brooklyn! We welcome people coming, supporting business, and generating momentum.
How hot is Gowanus? A weed-choked lot at 399 Third Ave. sold for $1.95 million last year, the Brooklyn Eagle reports. "I'm getting calls from tenants moving out of DUMBO due to $50 per-square-foot rents," one broker tells the paper. And if you liked the flooding in DUMBO, you'll love it in Gowanus. Not to mention, dolphins! It's basically the South Beach of South Brooklyn, a Times Style section story from the near-future tells us. Thank God Parkwanus is still under the radar.