Walmart is considering moving onto a parcel of waterfront land in Bensonhurst that its owner hopes to develop into a shopping center, making it the latest spot in New York City to be considered by the big-box behemoth. The land, adjacent to the mall at Caesar’s Bay, once housed a lumber mill and is roughly the size of four football fields, the Brooklyn Paper reports. But the developer—the Cropsey family, namesakes of Cropsey Avenue, who have owned the land since the 17th century—could make the lot three times bigger by building atop piers; the family also owns 14 acres worth of “water rights,” after the city bullied it into buying them at the turn of the 20th century.
The land currently houses a gym, storage facility and motel, all built in the 1970s; the big-box retailer BJs is considering moving onto an adjacent lot, the Bensonhurst Bean has reported. For either retailer to move in, the city would have to make a zoning change, as the area is partly zoned for manufacturing. This, of course, is where Walmart would meet opposition, as the retailer has many powerful enemies on the city council and beyond.
Studies have shown that Walmarts have deleterious effects on nearby small businesses; the human faces of these businesses are movingly profiled in a photo essay in the current issue of Brooklyn Magazine, which highlights the small businesses on Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York, near another possible Walmart location.