Whole Foods opponent denies Wegmans involvement

Local News
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The Brighton Whole Foods project is set to go before the town planning board next Monday as its drive towards groundbreaking speeds up.
 
Trying to slow it down through a lawsuit is a group called Brighton Grassroots, an LLC being led by local marketing executive Howie Jacobson. 
 
“For me it’s about common sense and transparency,” Jacobson said.
 
Jacobson has many complaints about the Whole Foods project on Monroe Avenue with one of them being the claim that the facility will be more than a grocery store.
 
He believes it will also house Amazon operations like the store in Buffalo does.
 
“Let’s have full disclosure of what’s being built on  the site so a traffic study can be done on usage not square footage,” Jacobson said.
 
Project developer Danny Daniele says their traffic study included numbers from Buffalo.
 
“Our numbers for the store in Rochester are inflated saying we’re going to have even more traffic than them, we hope we have more, the reality is (the Brighton Whole Foods) is going to have much more competition than they do in Buffalo,” Daniele said.
 
Daniele suspects Brighton Grassroots is part of Wegmans’ attempt to bury the project.
 
“Where is all this money coming from?” Daniele asked. “And why is this gentleman coming out now at the last minute where for the past 3 years, he’s never made a peep.”
 
Jacobson said he only recently took full notice of the project’s perceived drawbacks and decided to take action right around the time it received a significant approval from the town earlier this year.
 
He also acknowledged the group is spending money to send out several fliers, buy full-page newspaper ads and pay lawyers.
 
“I will say that myself and people on our LLC, friends of Brighton Grassroots have helped support our financial burden, personally, it’s costing me a chunk of money and it’s going to be rewarding in the end because this community shouldn’t be giving special favors to people,” he said.
 
News 8 asked Jacobson if anyone from Wegmans was involved in any way in Brighton Grassroots.
“The answer is no,” Jacobson said. “Why would they need to be involved? They’re a grocery store.”
 
Wegmans sent News 8 this statement in response to the question of whether anyone in the company is helping to fund the LLC:
 
Our position on the impact of this project has not changed and has been made clear to the Town of Brighton and the DOT, and it’s one shared by hundreds of residents and businesses.  Earlier this year, we made the decision that we will no longer respond to the developer’s allegations, nor will we comment further on this project.
 
 

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