A long-vacant series of storefronts in Middle Villages Metro Mall has found a tenant that promises to draw new business in bulk.
BJs Wholesale Club is planning a fall opening in a 130,000-square-foot space at the Metro Mall, a large indoor shopping center on Metropolitan Avenue that is already home to a Petland Discounts and Sam Goody, among others.
The popular wholesale chain offers large quantities of merchandise at discount prices in a warehouse setting.
That space has been vacant for too long, and itll certainly help to be a draw for the other businesses that are in that Metro Mall, said Gary Giordano, the district manager of Community Board 5, which includes Middle Village.
I just hope it doesnt have a negative effect on other local businesses, he said. America is a competitive country, and people will hopefully benefit if they can get something less expensively.
BJs will fill an area of the mall once occupied by two stores that had long since abandoned the venue, rendering it hauntingly desolate. A Pergament home supply store had closed there more than a year ago, while it has been about five years since a Waldbaums grocery left the mall, Giordano estimated.
Upstairs from the new BJs site are a Toys R Us, which is expected to announce a series of store closings national, and Kmart, which is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
BJs currently operates 138 clubs across the country, including one at 137-05 20th Ave. in College Point, the companys first in New York City. The wholesaler also plans a club in Brooklyn.
Weve had a great deal of success in the area, said BJs spokesman Jeffrey Berman. We committed to the metro New York area. Theres a strong need we feel for the type of warehouse club that we provide.
Customers must purchase a $40 annual membership to the store, which supplies each household with two membership cards, which they must show to shop at the store. Businesses are also eligible to join at the same rate.
The merchandise ranges from appliances and books to food, clothes and electronics.
Officials at the Metro Mall declined to comment on the impending BJs opening.
Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.
©2002 Community News Group
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