Extell Development has dropped its push to bring Costco to its planned "Riverside Center" site on the Upper West Side, part of the larger Riverside South development by the West Side Highway.
The developer told elected officials this morning that the planned store was off the table, dropping a controversial element of their plan, which calls for up to 2,500 apartments in a series of five towers between 59th and 61st streets.
From the West Side Spirit:
"Gary Barnett has heard the concerns of the community, the community board, and elected officials as well as City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden and her staff and has therefore eliminated Costco and 500 parking spaces from Riverside Center," said George Arzt, Extell’s spokesman.
Whether another large national retail chain will take the place of a Costco remains to be seen."
The concession comes as Extell, led by Mr. Barnett, will need approval from the City Council in order to add more apartments than is currently allowed at the site based on an agreement reached with the community in the 1990s.
On the list of community concerns: the density (3 million square feet), traffic, and whether or not the city will fund a new school on the site.
"They’re making concessions early–I think that they’re earning some goodwill," Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal said of the Costco decision. "It would have been a contentious subject in the neighborhood. It already was when word was just getting around that they were considering Costco."