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Walmart eyes Gravesend Bay waterfront

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An old-time Brooklyn family’s plan to turn a plot of land next to Caesar’s Bay — and some water rights it was forced to buy at the turn of the 20th century — into a giant shopping center could pave the way for Walmart’s entrance into Brooklyn.

The Cropsey family — yes, the very same family for which world-famous Cropsey Avenue is named — wants to bring a big-box tenant to the Shore Parkway site where its lumber company milled wood for 100 years, and Walmart is on the list of potential suitors.

“We definitely think that there is going to be interest from the big box retailers, it could work for Walmart, BJ’s, Costco and the like,” said Geoffrey Bailey of TerraCRG, which is marketing the lot between Bay 34th and Bay 35th streets.

The Cropsey property on Gravesend Bay is about the size of four football fields and is home to the Harbor Motor Inn, the New York Sports Club and Stop and Stor, a self-storage facility. But owner James Cropsey wants to triple the size of it by building atop new piers that will extend over water rights that his great-grandfather Harmon was strong-armed into purchasing in 1895.

“He was forced to spend a significant amount of money on something he was already using for free,” Cropsey said, who added the state threatened to cut off his family’s access to the mill via the bay by selling water rights around it.

The living Cropsey told us that his great-grandfather only purchased the 14 acres of water rights to protect the mill, and never thought it would be a lucrative investment. But now, with a shopping center next door and a BJ’s Wholesale Club eying an adjacent property, he thinks the water purchase could finally pay dividends.

But like the BJ’s next door, moving in a big-box like Walmart to the waterfront would require a zoning change that allows retail sites, which is partially zoned for manufacturing.

“Getting this spot developed is a lengthy process,” Bailey said. “But we’d like to see this sooner rather than later.”

That could mean trouble if Walmart intends to move in.

The Bentonville Behomouth has faced an uphill battle in its attempts to set up shop in Brooklyn. In April, Walmart foes urged the city not to sell land it owns to a developer they believe will bring in the superstore to a planned shopping center off the Belt Parkway near the Queens border. The mayor’s office still hasn’t decided on that land transfer.

Walmart would join big-box chains Kohl’s and Best Buy in the area, but some say that they don’t want a mega-merchant that sells everything from cereal to bicycles taking up a coveted waterfront space.

“There should be a shopping center with lots of smaller stores and restaurants there,” said Sheepshead Bay resident Tina Maffo. “One big store isn’t the best way to utilize the waterfront.”

Walmart officials declined to comment on the potential location, but Bailey says that Walmart — or any other big-box for that matter — would be a success, noting other shoreline shoppers paradises like the IKEA on the Erie Basin in Red Hook.

“The site is ideal for large retail,” said Bailey.

The Cropseys have owned the Shore Parkway property for nearly 400 years, when the Dutch government granted the land to an 17th century ancestor. In the early 19th century, Col. James Cropsey lumber company opened on the plot, and operated there for more than a century.

The gym, motel and storage facility opened there in the 1970s.

Updated 9:26 pm, June 14, 2011: Updated to include clarification on Walmart's interest in the site.
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Reader Feedback

Resident from PPW says:
Welcome to Brooklyn Walmart! Note to our Imperial Mayor, if Walmart does become our neighbor, the Bay Parkway exit/entrance ramps will have to be improved. Yes, $$$ well spent.
June 11, 2011, 5:37 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Imagine how much tax money will be brought into NY with a Business, with a Payroll!
June 11, 2011, 12:30 pm
Mat from Marine Park says:
And then maybe they'll extend the waterfront pedestrian/bike path-park area from Caesar's Bay toward Sheepshead Bay. A water taxi stop would be nice.
June 11, 2011, 2:16 pm
Bob from Bathbeach says:
We need walmart and BJ's in this area for all the job's it will bring. No one will be against it here.
June 11, 2011, 3:31 pm
Kerry from NYC says:
I'm against it Bob..... The Waterfront is for Public Access to the Ocean under the Public Trust Doctrine....
June 12, 2011, 4:37 pm
Save the waterfront from Bath Beach says:
Even though I'm old enough to remember
when that area was a dump, it is still too valuable
to put a big box store there, especially union busting
scum like Wal Mart.
June 12, 2011, 5:13 pm
Rhywun from Bay Ridge says:
I guess "no jobs" is better than "non-union jobs".
June 13, 2011, 6:48 am
Susan from Sunset Park says:
Oh Brother!! Yeah lets bring in this box store in & give people jobs that they can lose the very next day! Better yet, lets start getting non-union Police, Fire fighters, Transit workers, Teachers & Garbage workers. Wait lets not have Unions at all. Lets end the middle class!!! Just rich and the poor!!! Very good idea people!!!
June 13, 2011, 7:07 am
Jaded from BR says:
We need walmart and BJ's in this area for all the job's it will bring. No one will be against it here.

I'm pretty sure that area has seen it's fill of BJs.
June 13, 2011, 8:28 am
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Susan, not having any unions at all would be great, actually. Unions have run the auto industry into the ground and have accelerated outsourcing. Get rid of them.
June 13, 2011, 9:36 am
judahspechal from BedStuy says:
Sure, get rid of Unions, so we can compete with China for sweat shop jobs. What kind of love do you have for your fellow Americans?

I am willing to see what will happened if the "Rich flee". Getting fed up of hearing the threat. Just make sure when they do, restrict there access to our Market.
I'll bet there are millions who are not rich, that can create wealth & jobs.

The more the Middle Class shrinks the heavier the "Rich flight" hammer will become.

Look what this parasite"WalMart" has done to Middle & Rural America. And I am not talking about the health of the people. I am talking about local mom & pop stores.

If not a park on the waterfront, why not housing?

Remember people if the American Economy fails, so does the entire world. Where exactly does China unload their goods? What happens when their stake in America is worthless?
There a war on the Working Class. We lost billion$$ of value.
June 13, 2011, 11:28 am
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
Oh yeah! Weiner must stay!!
June 13, 2011, 11:30 am
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Judah, plenty of people earn a decent living at their non union jobs. The only people who don't want a Walmart around are the people who don't want their fellow Americans to have a choice where they shop. Don't like Walmart? Don't shop there. If enough people agree with you, they won't shop there either and the Walmart will close down. Is that too democratic for you?
June 13, 2011, 11:39 am
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Judah, as for Weiner - he owns a Nissan Pathfinder and a Honda - that must've blown your union-supporting mind...
June 13, 2011, 11:41 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Mom and Pop stores are put out of business by Fresh Direct and Amazon.com, but they're cool, so we don't complain.

Wal-Mart is for people who belive in Freedom of Choice.

Don't shop there if you don't like it.
June 13, 2011, 1:08 pm
Tony from Bensonhurst says:
Stan & Or,
I for one won't shop at Wal-Mart, Thank GOD we live in America & thank GOD we do have Freedom of Choice. Because if it was up to the rich, Most people going to college woundn't be going to College. They & there mom & dad would be in that sweat shop working long hours for bird feed. Yes the rich wish there was no Unions so they can get richer & laughing at the handful of people agreeing with Union Busting. Oh yes plenty of people did earn a decent living at their non union Mom & Pop jobs until lowlifes like Wal-Mart put them out of bussiness!
June 13, 2011, 2:18 pm
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Tony, you are not making any sense. Why would rich care if you go to college or not? The rich don't care whether there are unions or not. You try to push unions on them and they will simply close up shop and take their factories elsewhere. What then? As for Walmart - again, it's up to the consumer which business gets to live or die. People vote with their money, so don't blame Walmart - blame democracy.
June 13, 2011, 2:45 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Tony, how many poor people have given you a job?
June 13, 2011, 3:32 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
The only reason why the products in Walmart are so cheap is because many of them are made by child labor. Such a practice is outlawed in this countries, but there are many in the third world who still use this. Outsourcing is just a way made to avoid the unions or other regulations when a company cannot comply with them. If you saw the documentary, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Prices, you will hear on the extras about those who working in China and being told that when living in the factory dorms that just about everything they use is taking from their paychecks in which they hardly get anything after all that work they have put in. The only thing that makes Walmart so difference from the other big box stores is that they don't give a lot of benefits to their workers nor do they allow for unions, so that's the big difference here.
June 13, 2011, 3:51 pm
job provider from tea party says:
I'm going to spend every dime possible at Wal Mart to help accelerate the demise of unions in the USA. It's time for the government to get out of the way and let the parasites fend for themselves.

The job creators of this great country are done providing for welfare leeches, union thugs, and everyone else that contributes NOTHING to society. Grab those Wal Mart jobs while they last, because they are a lot more pleasant than being homeless.
June 13, 2011, 3:58 pm
job provider from tea party says:
@Tal: Those child labor laws passed by communists are going to be repealed too after the Kenyan squatting in the White House is evicted next year. The sooner you teach children a good work ethic, the better the chance that don't become useless parasites, stealing from the productive, as adults.
June 13, 2011, 4:03 pm
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
job provider, isn't it ironic that it's exactly in these communist countries where they claim to be for the worker/peasant that the working conditions are the most dire?
June 13, 2011, 4:40 pm
job provider from tea party says:
Yep, and the same thing is happening in this country, as we slip towards socialism. The conditions become dire as people lose incentive to be productive, and instead latch onto whatever host they can suck the life out of, until society is dragged into the gutter. It's all coming to an end next year for the socialists, the immoral, and the parasites they enable, when Patriotic Americans will again be in control of all 3 branches of government.
June 13, 2011, 5:06 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Sorry job provider, but unions represent hard working people who deserve what they get. What is that you have against them? Why should someone who works so hard and shows a lot of devotion for it get less rather than more? For decades, Walmart owners have refused to allow for pay raises to their employees yet the CEOs got increased wages that they gave to themselves at the same time. I am so glad that we have people such as Michael Moore covering this when he did films such as Roger and Me as well as Capitalism: A Love Story. Don't give me that any job is better than no job claim, because most of us want real decent paying jobs, not jobs that give minium wage.
June 13, 2011, 6:40 pm
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Tal, unions don't represent anyone but themselves. If a business can survive while employing unions and pay out compensation that's not in line with the labor market - that's fine with me. What angers me is the fact that we are propping up the auto industry which has been made uncompetitive and run into the ground by these unions. We should've let them fail, instead of subsidizing unions.

If you want a decent paying job - acquire a specialized skill thats in demand. Compensation should be set by the market (just as the goods and services you consume are) and not by unions.
June 13, 2011, 7:30 pm
Sal from Bath Beach says:
Tal, Tony & Susan I'm 100% behind you on this one. Do you know what America or even western Euro would be like without Unions, bottom line most people would have no work rights. WOW!!! People that don't beleave in Unions should ask the 95% of people in some country's that don't have rights at all. I bet all the money in the world they would tell you "it really Sucks"..... Then the other 5% would fire them for even talking!!!!!!
June 13, 2011, 9:40 pm
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Sal, have you ever been to Europe? Ever see how much things cost over there? Anything from clothing to electronics is like 2x of what we pay here. Euros come to US and shop, shop, shop!
June 14, 2011, 8:27 am
Dave from Bensonhurst says:
Sal, I understand fully what your talking about my family came from China & life is really bad. The News doesn't know how really bad it is. My grandfather told me how hard skill workers & Non skilled worker have no heath care, low pay, disrespect & sexual harassment. The rich don't care, all they want is more money for themself the workers can died for all they care. They will just replace them with other poor people. The people of the USA should be thankful for Unions. In China most live very hard lives, I say this one more time, The people of the USA should be thankful.

God Bless America
June 14, 2011, 11:49 am
Stan LS from Gravesemd says:
Dave. my family is from USSR (I was born there). Any time you have the government claiming to be for the worker (ie, China, USSR, etc) you can be sure that the worker will be worse off than the workers that are in the country whose government respects the free market. The history is crystal clear about this.

Unions have already destroyed the auto industry and the only reason GM exists is because we, the taxpayers, are propping them up.
June 14, 2011, Noon
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Stan, unions are the reason we have decent wages today. In the old days, a worker can get fired just for getting hurt, sick, or even complaining about conditions. These days, if your boss or employer did that, they can get sued for doing such a thing as an arbitrary dismisall. The real reason prices are up isn't because of the unions, it's because of supply and demand. The union dues do not come from the taxpayers, they come from the groups themselves. If you actually bothered to see Roger & Me by Michael Moore or even read his book Downsize This, he mentioned what really hurt the auto industry, and that was by just wanting to downsize their employees, while increasing their pay on CEOs at the same time.
June 14, 2011, 7:59 pm
nychick from bay ridge says:
Honestly if you don't like Walmart and want to "save your Mom and Pop shop" then don't shop at Walmart. But, the rest of us will. Sorry, but even with my college education-required job I can not afford the rediculously high prices of groceries/household goods that these mom/pop shops charge half the time. Maybe if anyone took a moment to think they would realize a Walmart in Brooklyn will actually provide a lot of job opportunities for people. And Susan, you're an idiot: "Yeah lets bring in this box store in & give people jobs that they can lose the very next day!" Looked at the job market lately? That's not a "Wal-mart problem." It's a problem across the board at any company, any where, at any time. Everyone needs to wake up. Get with the times. This is the future.
June 15, 2011, 8:24 am
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Tal, unions have nothing to do with "decent wages" for non union workers. The market sets the wages. As for the rest - they are called labor laws. The US auto industry simply can't compete with the Japanese who pay way less (if you factor in all the benefits) to their workers.
June 15, 2011, 10:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Stan, unions also existed for better working conditions and treatment by their bosses and employers. If not for them, you would still get treated badly and be fired just for questioning. Why should people who work so hard, get so little despite how much time they placed for it? I am so tired of those who vilify unions as being bad when they are the victims most of the time. If you think that the labor they have in India, China, and the rest of the Far East have, then I suggest you work there yourself, and then you will see the reality of it and why this was abolished in the modern world.
June 15, 2011, 10:59 am
Stan LS from Gravesend says:
Tal, I don't need a history lesson - we are talking about the present, not the pre modern labor law time which you are describing.

Again, given the already existing labor laws, there's absolutely no need for unions to exist (other than to bully businesses into getting the above market wages - which renders them unable to compete with other companies). You bringing up China, India, etc., is just noise you are using to obfuscate the discussion, since those countries have very different labor laws from others. You yourself admit that what they practice there has been "abolished" here.
June 15, 2011, 12:19 pm
Bayridgebs from bayridge says:
I will welcome Walmart, It's the only store that sell sliced peanut butter.
June 15, 2011, 5:18 pm
Sal from Bath Beach says:
nychick from Bay Ridge " Your the idiot!" Have some respect!!! Grow up! Do you see how Stan & others are conducting themself!! If you feel you want to shop a money losing WalMart, go ahead! I hear those money losers are going to start making smaller stores. Walmart Express LOL!
June 15, 2011, 8:32 pm
Nick from Bay Ridge says:
Tal Barzilai, you and most of the people posting about this subject gives me hope for the American Unions. I'm not going to get into why we need Unions, because some people wish to start flames (Name calling) and I'm just not into that.
June 15, 2011, 8:52 pm
georgie from sunset park says:
What mom & pop stores are going to be crushed? I can't think of any in Brooklyn. Bodegas don't count. They are convenience stores.

I would not allow residences to be built on this land, it is a superfund site. Let WalMart develop this site. I want to pay less for my produce, meat, and fish.
June 21, 2011, 6:56 pm
Marisol says:
Are you serious? The traffic over there is horrible already. Yeah lets add more cars!
June 21, 2011, 10:44 pm
John from Bath Beach says:
Trucks are not allowed on the belt. The only way a truck can get to Cesar's Bay is through BayParkway exit. Hundreds trucks a day through the middle of the Brooklyn to supply that walmart. Who ever thought that would be a great idea?

Ps
walmart imports 80% of its products from China - remember whom you are supporting when you shop at walmart.
July 6, 2011, 12:24 am
Ray Agoncillo from NJ says:
Walmart is a wolf in sheep's clothing. I was an associate and will tell the truth in public without batting an eyelash. They will come to your community, pretend to create jobs but they will eventually cut that staff by 50% either thru unfair termination or cutting work hours. They
will not do this in the beginning because they need to have the new employees work as construction workers in setting up the interior of their building from ground up. Our staff had dwindled considerably after that. They provide no formal training at all. Often, what seem to be training by sending new recruits to other stores prior to the new store opening is just a disguise to send extra staff to an understaffed location. They have you sit through training videos for safety and to satisfy OSHA requirements but in our case, we had so much construction work to do before the store opening that management FED us the answers a day before the required deadline, an obvious act of insensitivity by Walmart to its employees' well being and deception. The only consistency that they have shown is being able to have their managers and cohorts meet their forecasts and budgets by cutting payroll. It might not seem like a big deal but in the Garfield NJ Superstore, a shift would be understaffed by 60% yet they will not make any new hires or attempt to add workers to your shift. Moreover, it would be a commonplace that they will harass you to speed up so you can help other departments on that shift. I was terminated for speaking my piece to a night manager a few months ago. When I applied for unemployment benefits, I was told that I was fired because of excessive lateness and that disqualified me. Not true as my lateness was condoned and was actually an accepted practice by my managers so that they do not have to pay me overtime whenever i would work extra hours..."killing overtime" was the jargon they used for this. Mind you, through and through I had been deemed as an excellent employee even getting two wage promotions and exemplary work reviews in the one year they said that i was excessively late. I was also never cited nor coached. Not once. Walmart, at least the Garfield NJ store, is a hell hole for employees, specially to the hardworking and dedicated ones. Their only concern was their profits, a far cry from what the NYC mayor is being led to believe. Brooklyn, i pray that your children and your fathers do not suffer the same fate like many of us. At the least, Walmart can push you to the brink of losing your dignity.
July 19, 2011, 9:15 pm
Phil says:
We need manufacturing jobs! Not low paying, non-union, unskilled, shelf stocking jobs! We have plenty of retail stores everywhere plus the friggin' Internet. NO MANUFACTURING = NO AMERICA! WAKE UP PEOPLE AND POLITICIANS! Cropsey's lumber yard milled wood for over 100 years AND employed generations of families who lived in the neighborhood! You're all missing what is really missing in America---factories and plants that employ entire neighborhoods! We can't sustain an economy, a nation, and a population on banking, cafes, retail, web design, and fair trade coffee shops!! The city needs to start by making it very appealing for Cropsey to lease the propert to a large plant that employs 500-1000 people, and make it very worthwhile for the company.
July 21, 2011, 9:23 am
Adrastos from Bath Beach says:
I am all for it. Since nothing has been done there in a while it is not like we can stroll along the water anyway.
i am 100 percent for walmart
Jan. 6, 2012, 12:18 pm

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