Related and Walmart in advanced negotiations over Gateway II development

Related’s Stephen Ross and a Walmart

The Related Companies is in advanced lease negotiations with Walmart and J.C. Penney about anchoring Gateway II in southeast Brooklyn. Having both large retailers signed on to take 150,000 square feet each at the project would likely provide enough financial momentum to move forward with the development, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“We still have not signed any leases anywhere in the city,” Steven Restivo, a spokesperson for Walmart, said last week. “We continue to evaluate opportunities across the five boroughs.”

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Even if Related manages to secure the two leases, there will still be hurdles to overcome. While the project is not reliant on further approval by the City Council, Related has not yet finalized the purchase of one part of the site which is being contested by Walmart opponents.

Critics of the project have recently intensified their efforts to block Related’s purchase of the site.

Last week, Brooklyn Assemblywoman Inez Barron asked that state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli investigate the proposed sale of the 21 acres of land, owned by the state. In a letter written to DiNapoli, Barron, a longtime opponent of Walmart, expressed concerns over why the company is paying only $14.5 million for the land for Gateway II, when it had originally agreed to pay $32.5 million. [WSJ]