While Bruce Ratner is in the news because of his Brooklyn Nets project, he's got a new Manhattan project: Forest City Ratner Companies is the new partner in developing East River Plaza, a project that would bring a "big box" shopping center to East Harlem. The NY Times reports that FCRC took over the interest in the development from a Beverly Hills based real estate group; Blumenfield Development, the other partner in the project, told the Times that "Forest City's experience in low-income neighborhoods would be more helpful to the $215 million project than the California firm's." East River Plaza has been a proposed new development since 1999, and back then the stores in the complex would have included a Home Depot, an EXPO Design Center, and Manhattan's first Costco - now the Home Depot is only retailer so far. And there has been opposition: A group of East Harlem residents and businesses are against the project, and some of the reasons they list are that the project would be near a school playground and that 7,000 more cars would add to the congestion. Another project that has had a mix of community enthusiasm is the Red Hook project.
Gothamist wonders what would be left to put in that shopping complex. A Lowe's? While we would love a Costco (the idea of five gallon containers of olive oil is pretty tantalizing - we would redistribute it to our friends), Gothamist doesn't really want a Sam's Club.