Even in this recession, the registers are still ringing at a steady pace in many of the businesses along 63rd Road between 97th and 98th Streets. Yet news that Costco Wholesale Corporation may open a store just a block away has made some of the small business owners worry that the big box store could severely slash their bottom line.
"We don't want them in the neighborhood," said Met Foods manager Ray Lopez. "It's going to hurt the business. It's going to hurt. If I drop 25 percent, it's a lot of business to me."
Costco could replace a Home Depot store that pulled out of a deal to take space in the new Rego Center shopping mall which is slated to open early next year.
While there are a number of big box stores in the area, local business owners say they don't want in the area stores where shoppers can buy most of what they need all in one place.
"We didn't want the Wal-Mart, why would we want a Costco?" said Lopez.
Yet it might be too late to fight the plans. Last week, executives from Vornado Realty, the company developing the new shopping hub, told the local community board it is waiting for the final word from Costco.