Crain's got into analyzing why the Costco at the East River Plaza was not performing in an article this past weekend. The recession has brought increased sales nationwide to the discount chain and it is also doing well in Brooklyn, Long Island City and Queens. So what's the problem and what's killing this branch of the mega retailer? Blame it on that ugly parking lots.
What the East River Plaza is currently depending on to bring business into East Harlem might just be another example of poor city planning. All the other Costco stores in the area are right by subway stops. New York City is heavily dependent on foot traffic and the new East Harlem mall is a good 15 minutes from the nearest subway station. To make matters worst, they are charging $2.50 per half hour parking while the Brooklyn brethren is free of charge. What is not mentioned in the article is that the entrance faces the FDR highway and is very difficult to even view from Manhattan proper. The concept of this Costco mall relies heavily on cars and folks hauling freighter size bulk items to tiny apartments using those said vehicles. Does this scenario start to make sense anytime soon? Read more about it in Crains: LINK or check out our past articles on the mega mall that moved into the former Italian section of East Harlem: LINK. Photo by Ulysses.