Help Save the Long Island Coignet Building
After years of planning and discussion, Whole Foods is finally moving on its proposed first supermarket in Brooklyn on Third Street and Third Avenue in Gowanus. As part of this plan, they intend to restore (and hopefully re-use) the long-neglected landmark New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building, which is on the south-easternmost corner of the large development site. However, they have requested for the LPC to shrink the actual landmark site of the building (the area over which the LPC has jurisdiction) to a narrow perimeter of five feet beyond the building envelope except at the street fronts, where it will stretch to 12 feet.
Whether one is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Brooklyn’s first Whole Foods or is dreading the collateral effects of a large supermarket on an industrial area, it seems to us that this proposal is an effort to avoid the normal Landmarks Preservation Commission review process. The owners of the Coignet Building should be required to present plans at a public hearing to show how their proposal relates to the designated property. Otherwise, this will point the way for all who want to build upon a landmarked site and avoid LPC oversight.
The proposal to reduce the landmark site is now heading to the City Planning Commission and from there it will go to the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, which will probably hear the item by April.
HDC is asking you to lend your voice and ask that City Council protect the integrity of the Landmarks Law by rejecting this proposal and not allowing a developer to manipulate and avoid the law. Please sign the petition (you’ll have to register but it’s really easy).
Market Nears A Landmark: Wall Street Journal, Mar. 29, 2012
Brooklyn Whole Foods faces City Council next week: The Read Deal, March 29, 2012
Gowanus Whole Foods to rise feet from landmarked Coignet building, which will get repairs: NY Daily News, March 4, 2012
HDC Pushes Against Coignet Stone Lot Reduction: Brownstoner, February 2, 2012