QUEENS — Costco, one of the largest wholesalers in the country, is actively investigating opening a store in Downtown Jamaica, according to those approached by reps for the mega-chain.
Costco representatives recently spoke to at least two developers who own property in the area, the developers confirmed.
Chris Xu, a Flushing-based developer, who spent $22 million in cash to buy a large property in Downtown Jamaica, said he was recently approached by a Costco representative to discuss the possibility of opening a store on that lot, on Archer Avenue and Guy Brewer Boulevard.
Xu, who is planning to build market-rate housing that would feature several hundred apartments as well as an on-site supermarket, said the deal on his property hit a sticking point after the company asked for 600 parking spaces for its customers.
“I can’t have that much parking for them because then I won’t have parking for my apartments,” he said.
The Blumenfeld Development Group, which is planning to convert two parking lots on 168th Street, near 90th Avenue, into a massive 160,000-square-foot retail store, also confirmed that Costco is one of the retailers the group is talking to as a possible "anchor store."
Joseph Montesano, Costco real estate representative, declined to comment. He also said that the company does not discuss its real estate projects until “the deal has been announced.”
Currently Costco has locations in Rego Park, Brooklyn and Harlem.
Rob MacKay of the Queens Economic Development Corporation said Costco would be a welcome addition to Jamaica, a neighborhood that he described as "economically vibrant." The store, he said, would bring a lot of jobs to the area and offer a selection of healthy food.
"Why should Queens people go shopping in Long Island?" he said, referring to the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, which is known to attract South Queens residents.