BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
A 23,580-square-foot Target chain store is in the works to replace a long-time movie theater that was shuttered three years ago in Jackson Heights.
Last year, Sun Equity Partners and Heskel Group purchased the Jackson Heights Cinema, which was located at 40-31 82nd St., for $27 million. The theater was originally built in 1924 and closed its doors permanently in 2014.
The seven-story, 160,000-square-foot building is projected to be a combination of retail and community facility space and will be named The Shoppes at 82nd Street.
Target, which signed a 15-year lease, would be located on the ground floor of the building. The chain store’s agreement with the property owners stipulates that competing cosmetics companies—such as Ulta, which had been eyeing a spot in the building, or Sephora—cannot lease space at the site, according to The Real Deal. Additionally, the contract would prevent rival supermarkets, convenience stores, massage parlors, Laundromats and second-hand stores from being located at The Shoppes.
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) said that locating a big box store in Jackson Heights, which is a densely populated neighborhood, could be a cause for concern for residents and added that the developer should ensure that the community’s questions are answered regarding the property.
“Although some see the presence of these commercial chains as progress—and maybe it is—I was hoping we were going to see a new school being built there,” he said. “Among some of the concerns that I have is the impact of this new big box store on the local economy. Is it going to hurt the wonderful and traditional mom-and-pop stores in the neighborhood? Is everyone around the store going to lose business, forcing some of them to shut down their doors? Are they going to be good neighbors? What was the input, if any, from the community board serving the area? I have mixed feelings, but my primary concern is how this will affect our small business owners.”
In addition to Target, some other national chains that might open stores in the building include Foot Locker, The Children’s Place, Banana Republic and Gap.
Target is scheduled to open at an undisclosed date before 2019 and would be the fifth Queens location for the chain, which currently operates stores in Elmhurst, Forest Hills, College Point and Flushing.
The Queens Tribune was unable to reach The Shoppes at 82nd Street for comment by press time.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144 or firstname.lastname@example.org