Ridgewood, Middle Village residents petition for Target to set up shop in Rentar Plaza

Photo: Jay Reed/Flickr Creative Commons

A Maspeth woman calling on Target to take over a space in a Middle Village shopping center left vacant by both Kmart and Toys R Us in the same year and has a grand total of 177 signatures on a Change.org petition.

Charlene Stubbs, in her petition to Target CEO Brian Cornell, believes that a big box store would fit well at the Metropolitan Avenue location. Rentar Development, which owns the site, had applied to build two new truck loading bays in order to entice new tenants, but that application was shot down at the Jan. 9 Community Board 5 meeting.

“We do not have a Target in our Community Board which consists of Maspeth Middle Village Ridgewood and Glendale. We have to go out of the neighborhood to shop at one. We lost KMart there in October so now we have to go out of our area to buy clothes books and toys which most Targets I have been to have a wide selection,” Stubbs wrote. “There are so many houses within walking distance of this store. I can not see a Target failing at this location. Please consider opening Target here.”

In the petition, Stubbs argued that grocery store options for people in the area are far and few between, ranging between Western Beef at 47-05 Metropolitan Ave. and C-Town at 75-43 Metropolitan Ave.

Dennis Ratner, president of Rentar Development, told QNS the shopping center has become a hard sell in recent years as brick-and-mortar retailers are forced to downsize both the size and number of their stores and the only hope for the company is to subdivide the space and offer more loading bays.

Ratner said he had been in talks with multiple retailers but did not offer any names since there have not yet been any bites.

At the CB5 meeting, Felice Bassin from Rentar even pointed out that Target itself is going with small outlet space as the online market continues to heat up and give physical big-box facilities a run for their money.

Rentar had put in an application with the city Department of Transportation for a curb-cut and a driveway for two additional unloading bays along Metropolitan Avenue that would facilitate the subdivision of the 145,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Kmart and sweeten the deal for smaller retailers.

Rentar is skeptical that any companies that take a subdivided retail space would be willing to share the current eight unloading bays with the other tenants.

There are concerns that with trucks loading in the front of the building, massive amounts of foot traffic from arriving M trains and students from Christ the King High School would pose a hazard. So with less than 24 hours between the proposal at the Jan. 9 Board 5 meeting and the deadline for DOT to hear the advisory decision, CB5 voted unanimously against Rentar’s proposal claiming they would need more time to further study the plans.