Three years after approval, BJ’s Wholesale Club remains unbuilt

Development on Staten Island wetlands faces lawsuit

New York /
Oct.October 28, 2020 09:15 AM
The development  site at 2324 Forest Avenue (Google Maps)

The development  site at 2324 Forest Avenue (Google Maps)

A BJ’s Wholesale Club project got the green light from Staten Island officials in 2017. It still has not happened.

The 226,000-square-foot development planned for Staten Island’s Mariners Harbor section, which has been approved to be built at 2324 Forest Avenue on 28 acres of wetlands, is the subject of a legal battle, the New York Times reported.

Although developer Charles Alpert has said the project will be home to at least 200 local jobs, protect 11 acres of the wetlands and include rain gardens and holding tanks to curb flooding, the 28-acre site helped save the area from Superstorm Sandy’s floods in 2012 and locals are hesitant to give it up.

The City Council, following the lead of local member Debi Rose, approved the plan, which Rose negotiated with Alpert. Borough President James Oddo backed it as well.

The Staten Island Coalition for Wetlands and Forests is suing the state Department of Environmental Conservation department to redo its assessment, which found that the approved project was better for the environment than what Alpert could build under the old zoning.

The lawsuit argues that the right to build on the land was never guaranteed, and that regulators should have compared the impact of the project with that of unbuilt land.

[NYT] — Sasha Jones


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