Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BOEDC confirms BJ's at Stella D'oro

The former cookie factory, vacant since 2009.
Last week, we broke the news that an anonymous wholesale club had leased part of the Stella D'oro factory in Riverdale. Judging from the leasing website, we speculated that it might be BJ's.
In this week's Riverdale Review, we were able to confirm from a couple sources close to the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation said that BJ's is in fact going to lease about 90,000 square feet of the property. Sam's Club (Walmart) and Costco also both told us they were not looking at the area. BJ's has yet to return any requests for comment.

And it turns out while we were doing all that, BOEDC president Marlene Cintron was on BronxTalk Monday breaking the news as well (Most of the conversation is about the Kingsbridge Armory, so it's not until 25:30 into the video).

Cintron says it's still in the quiet period of discussion, but the developer is hoping to close within the next week or so. "The developer has invited BJ's to be a part of the Stella D'oro area," she said on the show.

The developer, Metropolitan Realty Associates, has yet to close on the building, but their leasing agents at Ripco went ahead and posted the property online anyways. MRA president Joseph Farkas wouldn't confirm or deny any information, but told us, "I am a concerned and neighborhood-friendly developer, and please be assured that my plans will greatly enhance the area."

Jump below for a little more information about the site and what else might go in the building.

The BJ's at the Gateway Center in the Bronx a few miles south is actually the third most successful BJ's in the nation, so it's no wonder why the wholesale giant wants to open another store. It is presumed that the new BJ's will accept food stamps and have free parking - there are 485 parking spaces at the Stella D'oro site.

Besides the wholesale company, we've heard whispers that part of the building may be used as a storage facility. There's about 35,000 square feet left in the building, which has been divided up into four separate retail spaces of varying sizes.

Community Board 8 chairman Robert Fanuzzi pointed out that this gives the commercial corridor on Broadway distinct boundaries. Target and Marshall's are on 225th Street, and the new BJ's will be at the north on 238th Street.

"I'd like to make sure people don't leave our district with their buying dollars," he said, adding that he'd like to see people from Westchester actually start coming to the Bronx to spend money.

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