Target has stores planned for Astoria and Elmhurst — and lots of people don’t like it.
Both locations are schedule to open for business no later than 2022. The locations are excellent, close to transportation and a wide variety of other retail businesses. The fear is that the big box retailer will steal employees and hurt the communities.
At present, the chain has 78 stores in the greater New York area, and over 17,000 employees. According to the company more than a dozen of those stores are so-called smaller-format outlets that measure about 40,000 square feet, roughly a third the size of a full-size store. Eight more smaller locations are planned in New York City.
“These corporations — Amazon, Target, Walmart, whoever — treat our neighborhoods like corporate playgrounds, and think our people are just open wallets,” said Patricia Chou, an organizer with Queens Neighborhoods United, in an interview with The City.
As to be expected, rallies were held on Friday afternoon to protest Target’s imminent arrival.
“In one particular bustling corner of Queens at 31st Street and Ditmars Boulevard, the arrival of Target would replace five active businesses–including a Key Food supermarket–and some vacant storefronts,” reports the web site 6sqft.com. “The busy intersection is already home to several banks, a CVS and a Starbucks. Last March, the owner of the property in question signed a memorandum with Target for a 15-year lease on a 47,000-square-foot, three-floor construction project, and there is an application for a demolition permit on file with the Department of Buildings. The new development includes 45,000 square feet of retail space in addition to Target.”
As 6sqft.com continues, “Many employees of the Key Food store are members of UFCW Local 1500. Larry Mandell, the store’s franchise owner, says he’d like to stay in the space, but his lease expires in October 2020, and he hasn’t heard back from the landlord regarding renewal negotiations.”
Meanwhile, expansion continues. The chain is preparing to open a new store in Washington Heights in 2020. It will occupy an approximately 25,000-square-foot space on West 181st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, a Target spokesperson said.
The opening was first reported by real estate publication The Real Deal, which spotted a new lease filing with the city Department of Finance. Target secured a 15-year lease at 600 W. 181st St. with landlord Maverick Management Corporation, Patch.com reports. It adds, “Target will have the option to extend the fifteen-year lease for an additional 15 years in three terms of five years, according to public records. The lease does not specify how much Target will pay for the space.”