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Final Decision Concerning Fate of 82nd Street Target to Be Made June 4: BSA

BSA Hearing (Oscar Perry Abello Twitter @oscarthinks)

May 21, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

The future of the controversial 82nd Street Target proposal will be decided on June 4, according to the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals.

BSA Chair Margery Perlmutter made the announcement at the end of a four-hour hearing Tuesday, after a heated debate as to whether Target’s plan to occupy a 23,000 square foot space within a proposed two-story development complied with zoning code.

Perlmutter said that the BSA will review the arguments presented by all parties and will render a decision at a final hearing in two weeks. 

The development, which is planned to go up at 40-31 82 St., is in an area populated by ma and pa stores. The site is currently zoned R6/C1-3, which requires stores to “serve local consumer needs” and prohibits them from exceeding 10,000 square feet in size. 

The planned Target would occupy more than 23,000 square feet, although more than half the store would be in an underground cellar.

The developers, Sun Equity Partners and Heskel Group, argue that Target meets zoning code because the square footage in the cellar does not count toward the total square footage of the store. Therefore, they argue, it does not exceed 10,000 square feet, with which the BSA seemed to agree. 

Perlmutter, according to a live twitter feed of the hearing, referred to a New York Supreme Court ruling where cellar space was deemed not to count toward the total floor area of a building. Under this ruling, which the BSA said it would abide by, the BSA indicated that the Target store would meet this requirement.

Community members in opposition to the plan also argue that Target is a “big box department store” and that the BSA should therefore block it from opening on these grounds alone. They also note that the developers are using a loophole to get around the 10,000 square feet requirement.

A representative of Congress Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez read a letter condemning the developers’ zoning argument.

“I am submitting a letter in support of community demands to stop Target and potential negative effects… this development goes against the spirit and intent of the zoning regulation,” a representative from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s office said.

Queens Neighborhood United, a grass-roots group that has been leading the charge to prevent the development, argues that the Target store would contribute to the displacement of residents and small businesses in the Elmhurst and Jackson Heights area.

The group took legal action last year after the Department of Buildings announced the building and Target conformed with zoning. The group took the issue up with the BSA.

Co Founder of QNU, Tania Mattos, who spoke at the hearing, said that most small businesses, local politicians, and community members have stood with QNU in opposition of the development.

“What we’re doing here is important,” tweeted QNU during Tuesday’s hearing. “If all developers and city agencies received pressure from our communities…NYC wouldn’t be a developers playground. Communities of color wouldn’t get so shamelessly displaced.”

Rendering of Target Development

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JH Economist

They are good for consumers though. Consumers have better options, prices, and products.


I can’t wait for Target to open. It’s going be beautiful! It will provide so many jobs and bring so much Health and happiness to the neighborhood. People cannot see it yet. But it will enchance the beauty of the neighborhood. I can tell you with surety, it’s going to happen. The world has already decided. QNU will still have a chance to battle the long list of big businesses still poised to come to queens.


I have lived in Jackson Heights for almost 40 years and QNU hasn’t knocked on my door asking my opinion about Target. Small group of loud mouths with their own agenda. Just like AOC whose only goal is to be in the limelight.


Whether or not you want the Target to be there I think you have to admit that it doesn’t belong on 82nd street based on the zoning regulations. There is no place in the city where a target has permit to exist in an R6 zoned area. R6 zones specifically ban department stores and ban variety stores of over 10,000 square feet. The Department of Buildings stated that Target both a variety store and department store on numerous occasions. Based on this information the Target should not be allowed on 82 street.


Did this article mention AOC? I thought it was about Target lmao. You must think about her a LOT.


Um you might want to actually read the article to get the answer to your question and maybe spare yourself from sounding like a complete idiot.


Variety stores of over 10,000 square feet cannot be located in districts that limit retail uses to Use Group 6 even if they are underground. This Target should not be allowed based on that alone.

The proposed Target is in a neighborhood I frequently shop in after exiting the 7 train on my way home from work and prior to getting on the bus to neighborhood. This area is already too congested. Allowing a destination retail store into the area will increase the negative impacts of traffic and more large trucks will be sent to the neighborhood. The developers claim this Target will be a destination retail location and that means they are anticipating many people to visit the area who do not live in the area. If the location was home to a pharmacy or a supermarket there would not be as many people from outside the neighborhood coming to shop. Supermarket and pharmacies are found in nearly every neighborhood and they typically do not attract people from distant areas. A Target will attract more people and cause more congestion due to the many people who will come to the area by car in order to shop at the Target. Target is also known for selling products quickly. The company thrives by making sales at high volume because it buys in bulk and sells products for relatively low prices. The high volume selling will mean that Target will require more deliveries than most other businesses in the area. Hardware stores and furniture store typically don’t require as many trucks to make deliveries and they usually don’t need deliveries to fill up their stock as often as a Target does. Target also utilizes larger and longer trucks to make deliveries in comparison to most of the other businesses in the area. Most Target trucks are 40+ feet long whereas most of the trucks doing deliveries in the neighborhood are around 200-25 feet long. The longer trucks are going to be difficult to maneuver on the narrow residential streets that lead to the loading dock. Allowing a Target that is essentially a department store will lead to many negative impacts that the zoning rules attempts to prevent. Department stores don’t belong in Use Group 6 because and Target is one. The Department of Buildings doesn’t object to the fact that Target is a department store. The zoning guidelines state that department stores don’t belong in use group 6 because they will lead to negative impacts on the community in the way of truck traffic and car traffic among other problems.

Pro-Target (hopefully a full Target and not those crappy express ones)

I’ve lived in the area all my life and I know statutes and regulations may have changed over the years, but how big was Woolworths back in the day? I was a kid back then, but wasn’t it essentially the Banana Republic lot, except 2 floors? Woolworth was a variety/department store also.

My biggest problem with QNU, AOC, and the like; is that they rail against corporate businesses ad nauseum but offer no alternatives. It’s easy to keep making big corporations the boogey man, it’s harder to actually think of ways to make the neighborhood better.

I’m all for Target being there. I think it’ll create new jobs, offer consumers cheaper products, and increase security in the neighborhood. AOC should be worrying more about how crime keeps getting worse, than this….


AOC, I believe, did offer an alternative. The alternative is to simply abide by the zoning ordinance that limits stores to 10,000 square feet.


You speak the truth this neighborhood has really gone down hill it’s like living in another country!!!


QNU has GOT TO GO. Seriously, they DO NOT SPEAK for the community…do you hear that Dromm, AOC, and Ramos? I know it’s trendy to be “progressive” but this entire process has become a circus of disruption. Enough is enough already.

Jackson heights for life.

What this article fails to mention is that many many people in the neighborhood are in favor of this development and will be very upset if it doesn’t go ahead. It’s about time the silent majority spoke up and stop letting QNU run the show!

Jackson Heights needs Target

“Communities of color wouldn’t get so shamelessly displaced.”

– Incredibly inaccurate statement. Jackson Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods are probably the most diverse areas in Queens and maybe even across the boroughs, with very little sign of diversity disappearing.

Honestly, the type of white people that QNU and other radical groups fear would never live in most of Jackson Heights/Corona/East Elmhurst…too “ghetto” for their taste.

This really boils down to QNU protecting their own interest, which is to continue Jackson Heights’s descent into the gutter.

AOC, Cruz, and Ramos need to be voted out of office. They’re against quality of life improvements.

Not saying you're AOC obsessed but...

…was she mentioned in this article about Target? Your little racist rant seems like a tangent.


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