Joe Sitt among developers pushing to bring big-box stores to Brooklyn

June 06, 2011 12:53PM

Already home to a shopping center featuring Best Buy, Toys R Us and Kohl’s, Brooklyn’s southeastern waterfront could get two more big-box retail centers if developers get their way, the Wall Street Journal reported. Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities is seeking approval for a $150 million project to build a 200,000-square-foot shopping center and 2.4-acre public waterfront on a pier near Gravesend Bay. Sitt has already secured a tentative 20-year lease with BJ’s Wholesale Club to anchor the site. Adjacent to that waterfront is a 4.5 acre plot of land owned by the Cropsey Family, which is soliciting developers to extend the site into the water and bring in big-box stores. There’s also a separate 15-acre plot near Four Sparrow March in Mill Basin, Brooklyn, where developers want to bring in a car dealership and retail center, that’s under environmental review but could run into delays because of a connection to the Carl Kruger corruption case.

As with Walmart’s longstanding push to expand into New York City, the arrival of big-box retailers is causing controversy among Brooklyn residents concerned with the health of local businesses and increased traffic. But with the economy still in a recovery phase, the retailers’ promises to generate more jobs have helped gain traction among city officials and developers. Geoffrey Bailey, a broker at commercial firm TerraCRG which is marketing the Cropsey Family site, told the Journal that the success of the Ikea in Red Hook has proven the viability of big retailers on Brooklyn’s waterfront. [WSJ]