BJ’s project clears another hurdle

June 23, 2011 Heather Chin
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Southern Brooklyn is one step closer to getting its own BJ’s Wholesale Club

Markowitz’s review is part of the city’s prescribed Uniform Land Use Review Procedure

In his recommendation, as well as in a series of letters todeveloper Joe Sitt and the Department of Transportation (DOT),Markowitz expressed his support for the project proposal providedcertain criteria are met. Those criteria include: Hiring localcontractors, suppliers and workers; working with the communityboard to identify traffic issues; working with DOT to addresscongestion issues in advance; and funding/monitoring congestionissues one year after opening.

The developer, Thor Equities, LLC, committed to all of these requestsin an email to Markowitz from attorney Jesse Masyr. However,potential loopholes include the possibility that local suppliersand contractors might not meet equivalent availability andpricing standards.

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Markowitz expressed his belief that Sitt’s project is theperfect site for a destination restaurant to be built adjacentto the outermost publicly accessible waterfront.

Given Brooklyn’s population, the borough is truly lacking whenit comes to having waterfront dining opportunities, Markowitzwrote. Having such a [space] would benefit the publicly accessiblearea by bringing more people to enjoy this waterfront.

The proposed 214,000-square-foot, $150 million Brooklyn BayCenter would be built at 1752 Shore Parkway, adjacent to Ceasar’sBay Bazaar and a lot owned by the Cropsey family that is rumored to be a potential spot for a Wal-Mart superstore. Inaddition to the BJ’s, the center would include a three-level,690-space garage, and 2.4 acres of publicly accessible parkland,and could include smaller retail businesses as well.

In his letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Markowitzalso listed three specific improvements to consider regardingaccess to and from the Belt Parkway: widening or realigning theentrance ramp to the westbound side, adding a second exit ramp fromthe eastbound side, and relocating the current eastbound entranceramp to connect to the service road and to accommodate a secondexit ramp.

Now that Markowitz has approved the project, the next stop isthe CPC, which has 60 days to issue a recommendation to the CityCouncil, which then has 50 days to vote on the application. Mayoralapproval is not required.

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