The owner of the property, Whole Foods, is asking to be granted a special dispensation from the New York City Landmarks Law that governs the landmark Coignet Building on the intersection of Third Street and Third Avenue in Gowanus.
Whole Foods wants to annex part of the Coignet building site so that they could build the big-box retail store on it without any consideration given to how that new structure will impose itself on the designated landmark building.
The Coignet building must be given the proper protection it currently has under the Landmarks Law. Whole Foods should comply with this law just as any owner of a landmark is required to. Whole Foods must make a proper Landmarks Public Hearing that shows just how their proposed development will relate to the Coignet Building.
If Whole Foods is allowed to alter the landmark site in order to avoid the normal Landmarks Preservation Commission review process, this will opens the way for all who want to build upon a landmarked site and avoid any LPC oversight. Maybe St Bart's Church can request a "Whole Foods" ruling and start building that glass tower they wanted to cantilever on their landmark church site 30 years ago.
We ask that City Council not damage Landmark Law by allowing any developer to manipulate and thus avoid the law in this manner.
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