Bloomberg Endorses 2,300-Car Big Box Garage for West Side

brooklyn_costco.jpgThe Observer reported last week that Extell Development wants to lease an underground chunk of its huge West Side project to big box retailer Costco. Included in the plan: 2,300 parking spaces. To put that in perspective, the Red Hook Ikea, projected to yield 17,000 car trips on peak days, makes do with a 1,400-car parking lot. The building where Extell wants to put the Costco and the garage will be mostly residential. No matter how many spaces are set aside for residents or shoppers, the inclusion of so much parking flies in the face of the city’s stated goal to reduce traffic.

Nevertheless, Mayor Bloomberg has come out in favor of the Costco, the Sun reports:

At a press conference yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg said bringing the
big-box warehouse chain to the city would help New Yorkers weather a
difficult economic downturn. "Costco has a reputation of selling in
bulk at very low prices, and given the economy today and the public’s
desire to buy things in bulk and buy them cheaper, it seems to me we
should welcome any store that wants to come here," he said.

In light of the Mayor’s own congestion reduction efforts, the endorsement makes little sense:

A spokesman for the Neighborhood Retail Alliance, Richard Lipsky,
said the Costco store would run counter to another administration
priority: reducing traffic.

"It is incongruous for the mayor, who supported congestion pricing,
to support one of the most auto-dependent retailers in the country,"
Mr. Lipsky said.

Photo of Costco parking lot in Brooklyn: MaxKalehoff/Flickr

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