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Target Coming to Elmhurst, Building Plans Approved by BSA

Rendering for Target in Elmhurst (Photo: Inline Realty)

June 4, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

Target is coming to Elmhurst as the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) voted today to approve the building plans that would permit the retail giant to open in neighborhood.  

Sun Equity Partners and Heskel Group, the developers of the 40-31 82 St. site, were given the green light to build their proposed two story development that would contain a small-format Target.

The BSA voted 4 to 1 in favor of the building plans that makes way for the Target store, the city agency confirmed.

The development, which has been the subject of fierce debate, will go up on a site currently zoned R6/C1-3, which permits retail stores that “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 Department of Buildings initially approved the developer’s plans, but Queens Neighborhoods United (QNU), an anti-gentrification group, challenged the decision on the grounds of the 10,000 square foot rule–appealing the decision to the BSA.

The developers argued that Target met zoning code because the square footage in the cellar does not count toward the total square footage of the store. Therefore, they said, it does not exceed 10,000 square feet.

The BSA agreed with their argument. At a May 21 meeting, BSA Chair Margery Perlmutter referred to a New York Supreme Court ruling where cellar space was deemed not to count toward the total floor area of a building.

Anti- gentrification groups fighting against the development claimed that this is a loophole the developers are trying to take advantage of to execute the project.

QNU, which has been leading the charge to prevent the development, expressed its disappointment following the vote. The group argues that the Target store would contribute to the displacement of residents and small businesses in the Elmhurst and Jackson Heights area.

“We will continue fighting and not give up until there is no Target on that site,” said Tania Mattos, co founder of QNU. 

Members of QNU were escorted out of the hearing by police this morning.

The grassroots group plans to appeal the issue to the NYS Supreme Court within the next 30 days and will continue to work with the Department of Buildings on this case.

“Today, the BSA got it wrong,” said Paula Segal, senior attorney with Equitable Neighborhoods Practice at the Community Development Project, who is working with QNU. “The City cannot allow developers to bury big box stores underground to skirt the laws and regulations that protect communities in residential zoning districts.”

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45 Comments

ELMHURST

I was born in Elmhurst Hospital, and lived in the same building on Ithaca Street my whole life of 39 years. This is literally my corner…yes, this is ELMHURST not Jackson Heights. We are all here fighting about the Target store, but no one has anything to say about the out in the open prostitution that happens here. It goes from 82nd and Roosevelt up to my block…years and years of it. No one cares…if Target will get the prostitutes off my corner and away from my window at night…then bring it. All you other ppl here talking about Jackson Heights, with your beautiful tree lined sheets and quiet blocks don’t have to come here and shop at Target. We want a neighborhood that is clean too, we don’t want anymore ppl in our building vestibules and on the sidewalks drunk, peeing, sleeping and whatever else they do which I dont have to say. If Target gets the area safe and our children don’t have to walk over used condoms or see drugs anymore, then we welcome it.

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Jon

I would like to see WalMart in the Queens area but I have been told the politicians and the unions are keeping this store out.

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5
Reply
Richie V / J Hts Activist

Richie V
The Rabid Activist
of Jackson Hts
Competition
and Free Markets
are almost always
better for any
Community.
Car Traffic will
likely be a minimal
issue.
As to EMS ?
They can re-route
the streets to
better serve Elmhurst
Hospital … long
overdue anyway.
… or change the
lights during an
Emergency.
The additional Apts
above
( not approved)
is a Victory.
Density in J Hts
/ Elmhurst must
be contained.

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70
Reply
steve

This ambulance argument is a joke. There are trucks double parked blocking the street to deliver to the stores and no one does anything about. That is the sole reason for the backup. If that was enforced there would be no issue. QNU and these politicians are looking to make up any excuse they can. They spend zero time trying to actually resolve the problems. It is easier to just point fingers

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1
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Pamela

I’m really disappointed to see how many people are in favor of building a Target. I wonder if it’s mainly new residents who have moved into the neighborhood within the last 5-7 years who are pro-Target? Having a Target in the neighborhood will negatively affect small businesses. I rather support a local business owner than have my money go into a large retailer.

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JH Watcher

Pamela – I’ve been living in the neighborhood for almost 20 years, and yes, I want a Target, which will benefit consumers with better options, prices, and products. If you don’t want to shop at Target, don’t shop at Target, and continue buying from your local business owner. Consumers have the right to have more options available to shop.

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Reply
Jackson Hts Ger

Pamela
It sounds like you might be
one of those people with the 5-7 Yrs occupancy.
This neighborhood was beautiful. That whole block
should be demolished. It’s a
disgrace with those street.vendors. If you don’t
like the coming of Target.
Maybe you should move.

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ILOVETARGET

Finally!!!! Now many of us don’t have to go all the way to Queens Blvd to shop at Target. This is a victory for the whole community. Not for the handful at QNU.
They don’t speak for us.

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Reply
Anonymous

Finally!!!!! Great news!
Now I don’t have to travel all the way to Queens Blvd to go to Target.

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JHeights my whole life

I used to work on 82nd street at Genovese pharmacy around the year 2002. I once saw the store manager get into a violent fight with a shoplifter over a pack of AA batteries. Shoplifting is big in the 82nd street area and will be a big problem at the new Target store. If you dont believe me just go to Rite Aid on 83rd st and 37th and watch what happens there everyday. Good luck employees.

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4
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Anonymous

This is a victory for the community. A project such as this will creat jobs, lower crime, increase consume spending, and overall develop the community. Not sure with the opposition gain from hindering progress.

The only part of this that sucks is a bit more car traffic and that I moving away ☹️

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11
Reply
Jackson Hts Ger

Hey Matos if you don’t like
Target coming here why don’t you go back to where
you came from. I’ll bet it’s not here.

53
20
Reply
Jackson Hts Ger

Why anonymous? Oh
don’t want anyone to
know that you don’t
want to get this neighborhood back to where it was. That’s
ignorant!

18
34
Reply
Crackson Heights

Good to see racism and xenophobia is alive and well in Jackson Heights with this comment and the 53 likes. Well at least u can get a good deal on detergent at Target to clean your clan hoods.

1
1
Reply
Jackson Hts Ger

You might want to use
that detergent to clean
up that block it looks like a 3rd world country and target will make a difference

Reply
Crawdad

Why is this controversial? Most people want this. If anything, there should be a midrise housing tower on top.

Also, this is Jackson Heights.

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9
Reply
Duke of Heights

Sounds great, I really hope this Target hires people from the neighborhood, ( give the kids summer jobs )
More businesses coming to Jackson Heights is always good , .

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6
Reply
Asaf the Arab

This is not good for the small businesses in the neighborhood, also there will be more traffic in that area

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42
Reply
JH Watcher

Target is good for consumers in the neighborhood. There will be more traffic if they give driver licenses to illegals.

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192
Reply
Javier

Always pooling the fascist card! This is the result of ignorance and racism! We need to continue our fight for progressive values in our community #aocnotforsale #notheretobehave #notplayinggames

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31
Reply
JH Watcher

This is America and it was built based on free market capitalism and free enterprise. If you don’t like it, go to Venezuela, Cuba, or North Korea

16
78
Reply
Fox News says Venezuela bad!

Well those countries have dictators. All the happiest nations are the Scandinavian socialist countires. I guess Fox News didn’t tell you that though.

You should move to a Reuplican paradise like Alabama 😂

22
1
Wait...a Trump Lover managed to work fear-mongering about "dem illegals" into an article about target?

Maybe obsess over something else?

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2
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Anonymous

Lol oh man you’re right about the traffic. As a former employee of these small “express” targets, the neighborhood will experience way more traffic

1
2
Reply
Josh

I kinda wish they didn’t waste the space above the development and had a couple floors of apartments

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Reply
Nearby Resident

Oh well. Blame these QNU busy bodies for challenging the apartments that were originally proposed.

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3
Reply
[email protected]

Great news for the neighborhood, most residents are in favor of Target. Hopefully that area of Roosevelt Avenue will improve in terms of cleanliness and street vendors.

I hope QNU continues to fail in their efforts to keep Jackson Heights in the gutter.

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11
Reply
Clean the streets of JH

They need to close down all those shithole bars in roosevelt. Less drunks more cleanliness in the streets and less street vendors. But this is a start i guess.

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2
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Mike

I hope target comes. We need it. I am tired of having to walk take a subway to carry stuff back.

The group that against does not realize the space will sit empty. No one want to rent or open any quality store here. Once target comes other big stores will come and help this neighborhood. Creating jobs, helping the area grow. Even help get the LIRR open. The group that against does not realize a space that was garbage and ugly looking is becoming better. Look around most stores are closing, the neighborhood is looking bad with all these closed stores, crime is increasing due to this. please allow target to come.

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Walter

Thank God for this approval. I’m a very long time resident and I can say most of us need Target here.

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5
Reply
Victoria Steinberg

This is a Target Express, not a Target. It’s basically a big CVS and we do not need it.

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Jackson Hts Ger

I rather have a glorified CVS than the dirty street vendors. That block is disgusting

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4
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JH Economist

I’m so happy that these left wing radicals from QNU got defeated. The 20 people that appear protesting don’t represent the community. They are related to a few vendors that are scared of competition. If they want to survive they’ll need to provide better products, prices, and service to consumers in the area….At the end, is the consumer that will benefit with Target coming to the area.

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Reply
Anonymous

This is Jackson Heights, not Elmhurst. There is already a Target in the mall.

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Reply
Anonymous

Jackson Heights starts on the other side of Roosevelt Ave; so this is actually in Elmhurst.

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1
Reply
Matt

Roosevelt Ave separates JH from Elmhurst. This is south of Roosevelt Ave, and thus in Elmhurst. (11373/ CB4)

13
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Longtime Resident

Thank god. I don’t know who QNU actually represents but it’s not me or anyone I know. They need to mind their business and butt out or else disclose the names of their backers. It’s a joke that this group has any standing to challenge a store the community sorely needs.

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13
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Jackson heights for Life

Hurrah! So happy Target is coming. Many people wrote to the BSA in support of Target. The QNU are one voice in the neighborhood but they do not represent many people. Just stop and recognize that we want Target.

67
16
Reply

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