Friday, April 11, 2008

Sitt Does BJ's

In an article in the NY Post earlier this week it was announced that Joe Sitt, the Sitt of Coney Island fame, was planning to build a large shopping center off of the Belt parkway. The center is to be anchored by a BJ's Warehouse Club which brings to mind a Yiddish expression that Joe might know; "Man plans and God laughs."

As the Post describes it: "An internal document from Sitt's Thor Equities estimates "200,000 square feet of big-box retail use" at the shopping center, with project construction kicking off next year and ending in 2010. Sitt will need to go through the city's land use review process for a zoning change and esplanade approval. But the Bloomberg administration is more receptive to this plan than megaprojects that the developer is being blocked by the city from building in Coney Island and Red Hook."

The receptivity of the Bloombergistas may be a substantially less important than the reactions from area elected officials-particularly Councilman Recchia, and Senators Kruger, Savino and Assemblyman Colton. The non-union box store has run into considerable opposition elsewhere, and was roundly sent packing in the Bronx three years ago. There's no reason to believe that this particular development won't meet with the same level of opposition.

It's too bad that Sitt didn't consider the possibility of a full-service supermarket on the site instead of the limited selection BJ's. It just might be the case, however, that, after this project goes down in flames, a supermarket will look real good to everyone on both sides of the battle.