Warehouse clubs make shopping en masse easy in NYC

By Michael Stoler | June 29, 2010 07:00PM

Thanks to warehouse clubs moving into New York City, city dwellers do not have to schlep to the suburbs to buy goods in bulk.

The first warehouse club in the city to open was the duplex-level Costco, which opened in 1996 in the Sunset Park section of Brooklyn. A few months later residents of Queens got their first Costco, in the site of A Former Warehouse On Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City.

More recently, they have been proliferating throughout the city.

In November, Costco, the granddaddy of warehouse clubs, opened its first location in Manhattan at the East River Plaza, on 116th Street in Harlem. On July 8, Queens will welcome its second Costco, the chain’s 568th store around the world (with a total of 414 in the country) in Rego Park II shopping center at 61-35 Junction Boulevard. Costco will join retailers who include Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, Toys “R” Us and Century 21 Department Stores. Next year, discount grocer Aldi — with over 1,000 stores throughout the country — will open its first New York City store on the first floor of the Rego Park II center.

Last January, BJ’s Wholesale Club opened a store at 131-07 40th Road in Flushing’s Sky View Parc complex, their third location in the borough. They have other stores at Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village and 20th Avenue in College Point Shopping Center.

BJ’s is the only warehouse club to have a store in the Bronx, at the Gateway Mall, which opened last September. The chain also has one location in Brooklyn at the 339 Gateway Drive at the Gateway Shopping Center in East New York. Construction is underway for a second BJ’s location in Brooklyn, a 170,000-square-foot store in The Canarsie Plaza shopping center.

And there is bound to be more expansion of warehouse clubs throughout the five boroughs.

Michael Stoler is a columnist for The Real Deal and host of real estate programs “The Stoler Report” and “Building New York” on CUNY TV and on WEGTV in East Hampton. His radio show, “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” airs on 1010 WINS on Saturdays and Sundays. Stoler is a director at Madison Realty Capital as well as an adjunct professor at NYU Real Estate Institute, and a former contributing editor and columnist for the New York Sun.