From the Observer:
It’s been mostly quiet on the Walmart front since plans for a Brooklyn behemoth collapsed last fall, but prominent New York brokers insist that the world’s largest retailer is in active negotiations for a spot in the five boroughs.
Walmart announced in September that its quixotic quest for a New York City location had hit a wall. The company’s latest failed bid for a toehold here came at the Related Companies’ Gateway II project in East New York. A coalition of labor unions, community defenders and politicians (including Christine Quinn) had condemned the proposal. Its downfall was attributed mostly to the company’s employment practices and perennial spats with unions. A unionized ShopRite will rise on the Gateway II site.
The Gateway Walmart had been expected since 2010, though it was never confirmed by the retailer or Related. When the East New York prospect dimmed, Walmart seemed to retreat from its designs on New York.
But several brokers told The Commercial Observer that negotiations are currently underway. “I understand they’re looking at something on the Queens-Brooklyn border,” said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman’s retail leasing and sales division. “There’s an old industrial building over there with vacant lots next to it.”
Another real estate industry source familiar with Walmart’s hunger for a New York location, wishing to remain anonymous, said the company was in active negotiations for a “very substantial,” roughly 300,000-square-foot as-of-right site in the outer boroughs.
Ms. Consolo could not confirm the 300,000-square-foot figure, but did not reject the possibility of a Walmart site in or near Ridgewood, the gentrifying neighborhood between Bushwick and Middle Village that has recently welcomed artists and Polish families priced out of Bushwick and Greenpoint.