Wal-Mart is looking to sublease a 40,000-square-foot retail space in southeast Queens that it had planned to occupy upon signing a lease two years ago. The store was initially intended as Wal-Mart’s first outpost in the city.
A spokesperson said the Arkansas-based corporation had leased the space at Rockaway Realty Associates’ Five Towns Retail Center at 253-01 Rockaway Boulevard as a “potentially viable site,” but has no plans for it at the moment.
Unions have protested Wal-Mart’s previous attempts at store approval by the City Council, which rejected plans for a site in East New York in Brooklyn in 2o12. Council member Donovan Richards of Queens said he fought the attempt by the chain to open in the borough amid concerns over nonunion labor.
Former tenants in the space at Five Towns Retail Center, located on the border between Woodmere and Long Island, include National Wholesale Liquidators and Modell’s. Wal-Mart began scouting city locations in 2010, as previously reported. [Crain’s] — Mark Maurer