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BJ’s on tap for Red Hookers

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Red Hook is about to get a BJ’s.

BJ’s Wholesale Club, the members-only retail chain, is close to finalizing a deal to open a big box store on the Red Hook waterfront, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

The retailer that sells everything from pet food to flat screen televisions is on the verge of announcing plans to move into the former site of the Revere Sugar factory, next door to the recently opened Ikea on Beard Street.

Thor Equities and BJ’s were mum on their pending agreement, but Borough President Markowitz’s office said the parties are hammering out the details.

“We’re hearing they’re pretty close to finalizing a deal,” said a spokesman for the Beep.

The tentative deal would be the second partnership this year between BJ’s, one of the nation’s leading retailers, and Thor, owned by Joe Sitt. In April, Sitt scored his first BJ by securing them as an anchor tenant for a proposed shopping mall he is developing on Shore Parkway in Bensonhurst. Among his other holdings, Sitt is a major landowner in Coney Island.

A spokesman for Sitt said plans for a Red Hook deal were not yet finalized.

“Thor is committed to ensuring that whichever organization leases this property, it will fully augment the historic revitalization occurring today in Red Hook. Thor is talking to numerous potential tenants for this site, and no decision has yet been made about who we will partner with,” said company spokesman Stefan Friedman.

But an inside source told The Brooklyn Paper that the plans were well underway for BJ’s to take over the demolished sugar refinery site, which has been leased to Ikea as an overflow parking lot.

The move is hardly a surprise to development watchers. Since Ikea opened in June, experts have said that Red Hook is poised for additional big box retail development.

“Will there be more? Yes. It’s inevitable,” Landon McGaw, director of sales for Massey Knakal Realty Services, told The Brooklyn Paper in June.

That’s because there are many large, idle manufacturing plots, such as the Revere Sugar site.

More warehouse-sized retail stores like BJ’s could be tough to swallow for Red Hook residents, many of whom bitterly opposed the Ikea, though its impact has not caused the apocalypse some predicted. There’s more traffic, especially on weekends, but there have been few complaints.

Borough President Markowitz said the costs and benefits of any commercial development on the Revere Sugar site would go through a public review, because it would require a zoning change.

“Red Hook — and Brooklyn — are open for business, but while welcoming major retailers to our borough could bring economic vitality and much-needed jobs to previously underserved and underutilized areas, we must also be sure to ‘grow smart’ and preserve a neighborhood’s character,” Markowitz said in a statement in response to a Brooklyn Paper inquiry. “The [city land review] process will give the community and other stakeholders a chance to have their say on what is ultimately located at the site, and what is best for the residents of Red Hook.”

Brooklyn’s already is home to a BJ’s, which is located off the Belt Parkway at the Gateway Center near Starrett City.

Updated 5:43 pm, August 28, 2008
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Reasonable discourse

Lydia from Red Hook says:
Build it and they will come! I love BJ's, I recently purchased a Liz Claiborne suit with a shirt for my hubby for less than $100. Now tell me that's not a sweet deal.
Aug. 27, 2008, 7:40 pm
Pacholo from Red Hook says:


John McGettrick, co-chair of the Red Hook Civic Alliance, said the neighborhood just can't handle more traffic. He said that besides lacking subway service, Red Hook doesn't have adequate roads and parking to handle IKEA – let alone another big retail chain next to it.
"It's just another inappropriate use of waterfront property," he said.
What the hell is John ——ing about?
Aug. 27, 2008, 8:36 pm
DW from PS says:
As intimated to in your writing [love those double entrendres] that place in the Hook was always good for a couple BJ's a year. Now it's going to go full-time!
Red Hookers can get pallets of peanut butter and gallons of grape juice just like any other New Yorker.
Woo Hoo!
Aug. 28, 2008, 9:01 am
Chris from Red Hook says:
Lydia, move to Ohio. Lots of big box stores, You won't even find people opposed to them.
Aug. 29, 2008, 1:02 pm
Kristal from Red Hook says:
I have lived my whole life in Red Hook and I just think that it is amazing how the hood where in the 80's you could not walk down the street without a worry is finaly becoming a community a neighborhood where we can feel safe in.
Aug. 30, 2008, 3:30 pm
Lydia from Red Hook says:
Chris (New Kid on the Block, move back to Ohio. I love the big box maybe you should try the big box too.
Aug. 30, 2008, 11:24 pm
Barbara from Bay Ridge says:
I also love BJ's. I have to drive to Silver Creek to BJ's. I'd rather drive to Red Hook.
Sept. 2, 2008, 1:06 pm
Joey from midwood says:
Who else thought this article was about hookers giving bjs? cant just be me
Sept. 2, 2008, 8:33 pm
Vicky from Redhook says:
Yess please we need these type of store in redhook it creates more employment for the youth and the people of this neighborhood in general.
Jan. 26, 2011, 7:09 pm
Kathy from Redhook says:
I would love to have more stores in Redhook like this one aswell walmart maybe a nice huge mall ;)
Jan. 26, 2011, 8:03 pm

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