Atlas shrugged in Queens . . . again

Glendale Center rendering

Glendale Center would be built on more than 6 acres of land, owned by ATCO, which currently houses Atlas Terminals and several stores. Current zoning permits the project to move forward without approvals.

There’s a strong sense of déjà vu developing among residents in Glendale.

The original developers of the Atlas Park Mall, which went into bankruptcy and was later snatched up by mall giant Macerich, are planning to build a shopping center right next door.

The proposed Glendale Shopping Center is a less ambitious venture than Atlas Park, a higher-end venture that was designed with white stucco buildings and manicured lawns.

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Instead, ATCO Properties is working with Long Island-based Schuckman Realty on a suburban-style strip mall to be anchored by a supermarket with shops and restaurants.

It would be built on more than 6 acres of land, owned by ATCO, which currently houses Atlas Terminals and several stores. Current zoning permits the project to move forward without approvals.

A new plan would transform a vacant lot and Atlas Terminals into a shopping center. But residents are worried the new center, located next to the Atlas Park Shopping Center, would flood the Glendale neighborhood with even more traffic.

Lisa L. Colangelo/New York Daily News

A new plan would transform a vacant lot and Atlas Terminals into a shopping center. But residents are worried the new center, located next to the Atlas Park Shopping Center, would flood the Glendale neighborhood with even more traffic.

The first phase, which includes 137,000 square-feet of retail space bounded by Cooper Ave. and 83rd St., is slated to open by fall 2015.

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Schuckman officials declined to comment on the plan, but residents had something to say.

“I’m not a big fan of the idea,” said Michael O’Kane, who lives down the block from the site. “I’m not sure the infrastructure can bear it.”

The plans include 500 free parking spots and a second phase with another 87,000 square-feet of retail.

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Schuckman Realty Co. is working on a plan with ATCO Properties to turn a vacant lot and portions of Atlas Terminals into a new Glendale Shopping Center with a supermarket and stores.

Lisa L Colangelo/New York Daily News

Schuckman Realty Co. is working on a plan with ATCO Properties to turn a vacant lot and portions of Atlas Terminals into a new Glendale Shopping Center with a supermarket and stores.

Kathy Masi of the Glendale Civic Association said the neighborhood would benefit from a supermarket, but she’s concerned the anchor store could end up being a big box store like a Target.

“We do need a food store, and I hope that is what we really get,” said Masi. “It’s the only thing that will balance out the terrible inconvenience for the amount of traffic this will bring.”

City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said she needs more information to take a stance on the proposed shopping center.

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“As long as it’s not oversized and out of character,” she said. “We want to make sure that once a plan is put in place, the community is part of it.”

Stores at Atlas Park closed after the mall failed to lure large numbers of shoppers to the site. It was further hobbled by the economic downturn and the folding of the Borders book store chain.

Macerich has pumped money into the site, revamping the courtyard and luring more moderately priced retailers, such as Forever 21. Company officials said they were not worried about any competition from an adjacent shopping center.

“We believe the surrounding market is strong and there is plenty of room in the marketplace for additional retail projects,” said spokeswoman Dawn Simon.

lcolangelo@nydailynews.com


Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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