Lowe’s is coming on July 23.
The home improvement giant will open its doors on the site of Kings Plaza’s former outdoor parking lot, located on Avenue U and E. 55th Street.
A grand opening celebration is scheduled for July 29 and will feature an appearance by former Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez, according to Lowe’s spokesman Gerard Littlejohn. Instead of the standard ribbon cutting, the store will stage a board-cutting ceremony, during which workers will saw through a plank of wood bearing the Lowe’s logo.
We broke the news to Mill Basin residents who were glad to hear that after months of construction, the store is almost ready to welcome customers. Lowe’s will occupy 94,000 square feet, create 120 jobs and maintain a waterfront promenade accessible to the public.
“Oh good!” squealed E. 53rd Street resident Connie Lenzo. “I’m kind of anxious for them to open.”
In spite of their excitement about the new store, which will compete with the adjacent Home Depot, Mill Basin residents remain concerned about the impact it will have on traffic. They’re bracing for an influx of cars on Avenue U, Avenue T, Flatbush Avenue and residential side streets, all of which are already congested because of their proximity to the Kings Plaza Mall.
But some say it’s too early to know what impact the megastore — which is sandwiched between the Kings Plaza Mall and the Home Depot — will have on the area.
“We’ll get a better idea of the congestion once it opens,” noted Paul Curiale, president of the Mill Basin Civic Association.
The Department of Transportation said it will study the area after Lowe’s opens to determine if additional traffic signals, dedicated turn lanes or other traffic-calming measures are necessary. A representative from the agency is expected to attend the Mill Basin Civic’s monthly meeting in September to discuss any possible changes to the streetscape, Curiale said.
The date of that meeting was unavailable at press time.