That New Gowanus Whole Foods Store Is Mighty Close To The Polluted Waters Of The Canal

Whole Foods construction as seen from Third Street at 4th Street Basin
Whole Foods site at Gowanus Canal's  4th Street Basin
(photos by Martin Bisi)

I find it ironic that representatives of  Mayor Bloomberg's Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency (SIRR) are holding an informational meeting to address "how we will rebuild New York City to be more resilient in the wake of Hurricane Sandy", while construction on the new Gowanus Whole Foods store on the shore of the polluted canal, an EPA Superfund site,  is in full swing.

The photos above were taken by Martin Bisi, who has documented the construction almost daily since it started.  The images show how incredibly close the store will be to the water's edge at the 4th Street basin at Third Avenue.
Yes, the EPA has formulated a plan to clean up the toxic waterway, but it will take a few more years before the actual remedial work will start.  In the meantime, the water of the Gowanus is highly toxic.
The site on which Whole Foods is being building is former march land and prone to flooding. Yes, it has been raised with fill, but it certainly won't be enough to prevent flooding.
As a reminder of how much the water rose at that site during Hurricane Sandy, here is a photo taken by Martin Bisi during the actual storm.  It was entirely covered in water.
Whole F(l)oods site during Hurricane Sandy, October 2012
(photo credit: Martin Bisi)

Bisi also took the photos below of the Coignet building on the same site. The future organic market continues to   encroach on  this historic, landmarked structure.
(photo credit: Martin Bisi)