Marty Markowitz: Gowanus May Be the Venice of Brooklyn, But Don’t Swim or Fish There

Chris may have his moment now, but Jessica's will come later. She KNOWS it will.Photo: Getty Images

Marty Markowitz is confident that the Whole Foods at “thoid and thoid” in Brooklyn will be the chain’s highest-grossing store in the nation. Once they break ground on the Third Avenue site, which is contaminated, that is. “There’s no question the Whole Foods is facing a significant challenge,” Markowitz told us at the U.S. Green Building Council Honors on Thursday. “They very much want to be in Brooklyn, but the site that they purchased certainly had more challenges than they ever expected.” Marty says he spoke to Whole Foods this week, and they’re coming in to meet with him “soon.”

Markowitz is equally gung-ho about plans for new housing along the polluted Gowanus Canal where the Whole Foods site is located; he believes development will spur cleanup efforts. “Someday, I see the Gowanus as the Venice of Brooklyn. I really do!” Markowitz enthused. But even the ever-optimistic borough cheerleader doesn’t recommend swimming in the Gowanus. “But you can already take a little canoe there; they have that regularly,” he said. “But there are no fish that have been sighted there yet,” Markowitz cautioned. “And if there are, I wouldn’t suggest you eat it.”