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Landmarked Building at Gowanus Whole Foods Site Up For Sale

By Leslie Albrecht | January 28, 2013 4:26pm

GOWANUS — An ornate 19th century building next to a future Whole Foods is on the market.

The Coignet building, on Third Avenue and Third Street, is for up for sale or lease by Massey Knakal Realty Services, which touts the historic structure as a "great retail opportunity adjacent to the new Whole Foods."

There's no asking price listed for the 2,000 square foot building, but Kenneth Freeman of Massey Knakal said the owner "is looking for close to $3 million on a sale."  Freeman told DNAinfo it's more likely the space will be rented "to a bank or a Starbucks, someone who would like to be next door to Whole Foods."

Whole Foods is currently building its first Brooklyn store, expected to open later this year, right next door to the Coignet building, which was built about 1873 by a local concrete company.

The corner property also includes a 750 square-foot dock space on the Gowanus Canal next to the Third Avenue bridge. News of the building's listing was first reported by the local blog Pardon Me for Asking.

The exterior of the Coignet building is being restored by Whole Foods under an agreement the gourmet retailer signed when it acquired the land. Whole Foods owns the land surrounding the Coignet building, but not the structure itself.

Despite the heavily polluted canal's status as a Superfund site, the Gowanus area has seen real estate activity heat up recently. A luxury real estate developer acquired a warehouse for $14 million on Nevins and Union streets, and a doctor filed plans for new apartment builiding on Carroll Street.

The EPA recently unveiled its proposal for a $500 million, multi-year cleanup of the Gowanus Canal.