There’s a new twist in the tale of big box retailer BJ’s Wholesale Club coming to the Gravesend Bay waterfront, a story Bensonhurst Bean broke last Monday.
According to News Corp.-owned publication The Brooklyn Paper, Walmart has been talking with TerraCRG, the company hired by the Cropsey family to market land, located at Shore Parkway between Bay 34th and Bay 35th Streets, which sits directly in between Caesar’s Bay Shopping Center and the proposed future site of BJ’s.
The Cropsey family, after whom Cropsey Avenue is named, first purchased water rights to the location in 1895 to secure the future of their lumber yard, which sat on the site, after New York State threatened to sell waterfront access to the highest bidder.
‘”He was forced to spend a significant amount of money on something he was already using for free,” owner James Cropsey told the Brooklyn Paper, 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 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.’
Much like in the case of BJ’s Wholesale Club, the property would first have to be down-zoned from manufacturing to retail in order for Walmart to open up shop. However, unlike BJ’s, Walmart faces an uphill battle against local labor unions, activists and competitors who don’t want to see the big box store open in New York City.