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Hookers to get BJ’s in a mall • Brooklyn Paper

Hookers to get BJ’s in a mall

The BJ’s Wholesale Club destined for the Red Hook waterfront might be part of a six-level shopping plaza with several other stores and even some residential units, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

Documents obtained by The Paper reveal that developer Joe Sitt wants to renovate a historic warehouse on the former Revere sugar refinery site; erect several new buildings for shopping, parking and housing; and create — by 2011 — a 40-feet-wide public esplanade along the water’s edge of the Beard Street property next door to the recently opened Ikea.

While Sitt’s company, Thor Equities, said it has not reached a deal with BJ’s and would not comment about the “request for proposals” that Sitt issued this summer, if the plans are still current and the city approves a zoning change to allow commercial and residential development, the project would make Red Hook one of the borough’s major big box retail destinations.

The documents, which were part of a package to solicit bids from architects to build the shopping plaza, sought proposals “to maximize commercial retail square-footage” of at least 400,000 square feet — more than 14 percent larger than Red Hook’s Ikea.

The latest RFP builds on earlier versions of the plan that have circulated since Sitt bought the site in 2005 for $40 million.

Red Hook residents who fought tooth and nail against Ikea are delaying judgment on this newer retail project.

“Caution is the code word for the day,” said John McGettrick of the Red Hook Civic Association. “I have many more questions than I have answers [about Thor’s plans].”

For others, opposition is in full bloom.

“A waterfront is our most-limited land resource, so I think this is not the right place [for such a project],” said John Quadrozzi, who owns the nearby Gowanus Industrial Park, a waterfront manufacturing site.

This story was updated at 12:30 pm on Friday, Sept. 26, adding a comment from Thor Equities denying a deal had been struck with BJ’s.

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