2010-08-20 / Editorial/Opinion

Rockaway Could Use A Big Box

It has been a fact for a long time that there are many things you cannot buy in Rockaway. Take, for example, a simple everyday item such as a man’s shirt and tie. Unless you are willing to settle for a dollar store, there are few places one can purchase that staple item. Or, take a newly released book. You have to go off the peninsula to find a book store. There are hundreds of other everyday articles that fall into the same category. That is why we urge what is called a “big box” store for Rockaway. We are talking about respectable retailers such as Target or Kohl’s, places that sell the staples of everyday life without putting existing mom and pop stores out of business. There are lots of pluses in opening such a store in Rockaway. Think first of jobs. A store such as Target is open seven days a week, 12 to 14 hours a day. A store such as that draws lots of entry-level employees, a category we have in ex-cess in Rockaway. Such facilities also tend to stabilize an area, drawing restaurants and other stores to its shadow. Where would we put it? There is no lack of land in Rockaway. Perhaps it could be built in part of what was to be called Arverne East on the beachfront between Beach 35 Street and Beach 56 Street – a former development plan certainly comatose if not already dead. In any case, our local politicians should get busy. A big box store would begin to cure some of Rockaway’s ills and it is no time to play politics by opposing such a plan.

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