Astoria, Shopping
May 24, 2016

RUMOR and SPECULATION On the Old CVS Space, 31st Street Near Ditmars

We keep hearing a rumor about a TJ Maxx or Marshall’s moving into a proposed new building at 22-06 31st Street near Ditmars Blvd.

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I took this shot a couple weeks ago on my way to shop at the open CVS. I believe some of it has been demolished at this point.

We keep getting emails from you, our readers, asking about the building that housed the old CVS on 31st Street and the neighboring Fabco Shoes building, both of which are being demolished. In their place is planned the construction of a new three story, 50,000 square foot commercial building housing… well, we don’t have a definitive answer, but the word on the street is that a Marshall’s or TJ Maxx (they’re owned by the same company) is moving in. We’ve heard this rumor over and over via email, on message boards, and on social media. We really want to get to the bottom of it.

I’ve been in touch with the person who is in the know—Jenel’s and the Ditmars 31st St Associates LLC point person, Michael Hirschhorn—to get the details but honestly, it’s been struggle. For whatever reason—and no judgement here—we have not connected. Jenel is a real estate management company that seems to have its fingers in many pies in the Ditmars/31st Street intersection area. Here’s all the properties they are involved with.

Last I spoke with Mr. Hirschhorn he said he’d tell me all the details relevant to 22-06 31st Street on Thursday. Hopefully we can actually connect and I can learn something about the future of this space, and pass it on to you. In the meantime, I did look at the Department of Buildings records for this address, and the paperwork for a “NEW 3 STORY AND CELLAR MERCANTILE BUILDING” is pending review because some zoning documents are still needed; paperwork for something called “NWE Builders Pavement Plan” has been submitted and subsequently disapproved. So maybe the forces behind this whole thing are simply running into trouble with city agencies and that’s the source of the reticence.

Meanwhile, we want to know: do you welcome a big box store opening up in the heart of the Ditmars area? Would you shop at a Marshall’s or a TJ Maxx? Is this the sort of business you welcome in Astoria? We expect an opening like this would affect the smaller boutique shops nearby in two potential scenarios—1) decimate them because big box low prices, or 2) infuse their business with new shoppers who are coming to the neighborhood to spend money anyway.

Leave us a comment—we want to know what you think!

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

42 Comments

honeybooboochild

OFFICIALLY a TJ MAXX “coming soon”! Can’t effing wait. Wallet, not so happy. LOl

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Katie

The design is looking like a Cinema. It might be a good idea but the parking.

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Cassie Montgomery

I would just about die for a Christmas Tree Shop in the neighborhood. Closest ones are in Staten Island or Jersey.

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Amy Elabasy

Yesss i would!! I wish it was going to be a home goods!! I would shop there everyday! This neighborhood needs a big store. It is all about convenience. Pleaseeee ! Thank you !

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hmmmm

Shake Shack will only turn this into more of a yuppie / hipster douche neighborhood.

Now that Shake Shack went in on Austin Street in Forest Hills they are trying to get $120 sq foot for retail nearby. Just one year ago it was $75-80 sq foot.

The owners of the former Game Stop building are already trying to overcharge for that space. people need to understand their desire for these hip attractions / trendy spots comes at a price tag for local businesses and the neighborhood.

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Lynn

Not that I’d necessarily shop at a TJ Maxx or a Marshall’s, but I’d MUCH prefer that over more …..luxury apartments going up in the neighborhood! The neighborhood is already getting saturated, and the last thing we need to add are more commuters to our train lines in the nabe. ;-)

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Christine

I would love a Marshall’s or HomeGoods! The area needs more stores as opposed to restaurants and cafes.

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meredith

Trader Joe’s would be so welcome… not at that location. It will be a disaster with people and cars picking up. I loved it when it was thought to be going in where the CVS is. At least is had some parking and you weren’t under the train.

I really want it to be a NYSC. The Rock is awful and the other gyms are a hike in inclimate weather.

I don’t mind Marshall’s/TJMaxx I just don’t know how well it will do… It could go either way.

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bazinga

i already spoke to Trader Joe’s and Astoria is not their target market.

They have a location out in Forest Hills.

There is a NYSC on 30th Avenue and Steinway Street.

We do not need some cheap discount store in our neighborhood such as TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.

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Allison

There’s some clothing store on Broadway near Cresent, with a name like Famous Brands or something. I was there a few weeks ago. It actually has nice clothes. Famous brands, in fact! And I don’t necessarily mind cheap clothes. They have their place. It’s true that Astoria doesn’t have many national or name-brand retail options, aside from the Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Modells, the Benetton outlet, and Express. But, I am afraid that if it starts going that way, Astoria will turn into the new Carroll Gardens and become totally unaffordable.

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James

I welcome a discount department store but if there is no parking garage or rooftop parking then it is pointless and would fight against them opening. The only reason Marshalls works on Northern Blvd is because of their rooftop parking. Does TJMaxx expect everyone to load their purchases on their bicycles? How can customers shop when they have to park on metered streets? There is not enough room to park right now.

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bazinga

the only reason Marshall’s works on northern Blvd is because of the demographic / ethnic population that the retailers target within close proximity who has that specific budget for clothes and goods.

That’s why Old Navy is also such a hit, and there’s a Chuckie Cheese in there and also a Stop n Shop.

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Ashley

I would LOVE it if it were a TJ Maxx or Marshalls! The next best thing would be a Trader Joes!

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Grace

All I know is the Marshalls on Northern Boulevard does not attract me at all.The few times I have been there I have never seen anything worthwhile I know some people like it I’ve just never seen anything worth my time. I’ve heard from people that usually go out to Long Island or New Jersey that those are much better so I think even if either One came it would probably not be the same as the stores out of New York City. I would have loved a Trader Joe’s

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dunnypop

Astoria doesn’t have much in terms of clothing options… TJ Maxx would be a good start to get some decent shirts or socks / underwear outside of the Gap. Would also save sometime than to head into Manhattan especially when the trains aren’t running.

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Paula

I would love for TJ Maxx to come to Ditmars we have no stores to run to if we need to get something last minute – a pair of stockings anything. I really wish they would bring that there it’s big enough and they can build up they can even put Home Goods

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April

I think either of these stores would be great. In all honesty there are no clothing stores in Astoria other than those that sell low quality, cheap clothes. It would be nice to have another option. I think a Trader Joe’s would be the best option for Astoria.

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Pete J.

I would shop at a Marshall’s, never been to a TJ Max. But it is definitely going to impact the smaller shops even on Steinway where I would normally go if I needed jeans or socks.

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david

My mother would be happy. I would not. I’d much rather have a sports authority or Modells.

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Meg Cotner

Did you hear? Sports Authority is closing down for good! I liked them, too – massive sales starting May 27, apparently, and they will be dunzo by end of August. Sports Authority RIP.

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Lisette Leston

..Another Bank? Another Restaurant? Another Nail Place?..NOOOOOOO, we need Retail!! Astoria IS NOT what it used to be, it has changed drastically… so bring on a TJM/Marshalls!!

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Lisette Leston

….and what should open there? Another bank? Another Restaurant? Another nail place? NOOOOOOOOO, we need a little retail! Astoria IS NOT what it used to be.
Let the big names in!!!

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Mag

One of the aspects of NYC that makes it desirable is (or at least was, until a couple years ago) the absence of large chain shops, and the presence of smaller family businesses. Stores like TJ Maxx, while appreciated at times, belong in suburbia.

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Sophia

I am moving in a few months and when I read your article I jumped of joy!! I live in the Uk and we got TKMaxx which is the same as TJMaxx and its my favourite store ever!
If the rumour is right it will be my second home!!!

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bazinga

where do you live? there’s a planet fitness on Steinway, and a Blink as well. Do you ever venture outside of the DItmars area? come on.

even new york sports club is offering $30 a month memberships.

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Danielle

Not thrilled : ( This area is so bustling as it is, and it would be a shame if smaller shops ended up closing as a result

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Jane Rex

Praying they do come to Astoria. No more traveling to these store – we can walk which will also help seniors.

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Rosalie Di Raffaele

Personally I would welcome either of the above over yet another food store or restaurant. There are few….very few places to shop for clothing in the area and I would certainly welcome one on Ditmars that doesn’t cater to the young kids or yuppies that are now in the neighborhood.

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bazinga

There are hardly any clothing stores in the area that cater to young kids or yuppies to begin with. Astoria is riddled with $20 shoe stores and horribly cheap manufactured women’s clothing stores. There are no regular mens and womens retail clothing stores in Astoria. we don’t even have a decent men’s shoe store besides Esquire and they never have a decent selection or middle cost goods.

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Lauren

I would LOVE to have a Marshalls or TJ there!! ANy large department store would be welcomed as a great place to pick up gifts, a quick dress or pair of shoes, etc. Can’t wait!!!

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Courtney

OMG this is could be the best news ever!!!! Doing my Happy Dance!
I just hope that this is true!! We have been living in Astoria for over 8 years and so few nice shops. This area needs some real shops, love that this will potentially be an affordable shop/with tons of designer brands! My husband will be excited to not have to always drive to a TJMaxx/Marshalls on the weekends. I can go shop in the am and we can hang out in our neighborhood. I can walk over shop and head to Astoria Bier & Cheese-Ditmars for some local fun! Now if only LIC Food Cellar moved on into Astoria life would be so nice!!

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bazinga

Food Cellar is overpriced crap. You’re better off going to Whole Foods and just making the hike back.

Check the local prices on meat at Food cellar and come back to Astoria and make the comparison.

They charge 50 cents more for a bottle of Polar seltzer water! The grass fed beef which is $8 at Trade Fair is $10-11 at Food Cellar.

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