WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES FEBRUARY 14, 2019 3
Revised plan for truck access at Rentar Plaza
BY MARK HALLUM
Aft er backlash from Community
Board 5 members and the public
at the Jan. 9 meeting, Rentar
Plaza officials unveiled a revised
plan to expand truck access into their
shopping center that will allow them to
subdivide and attract new tenants.
Upon hearing the plan at its Feb. 5
meeting, the Board 5 Zoning and Land
Use committee was not opposed to
the proposal, which will have trucks
enter the Middle Village property
from from Metropolitan Avenue and
back the trailers into bays in the front
of the building without cutting across
traffi c or sidewalks.
The original plan was presented to
the advisory board without time for
members to really study the plans
before they were called on to take a
vote, which resulted in a unanimous
vote against a resolution in favor,
but Board 5 District Manager Gary
Giordano express concerns over the
safety allowing trucks to back into bay
from Metropolitan Avenue.
“We think that the community board
raised a number of issues regarding
the turn off Metropolitan Avenue,
with a truck having to back in from
Metropolitan Avenue, and we feel it is
much better to keep the trucks on the
property,” Dennis Ratner said. “We
actually think this is better for us.”
The truck entrance will still face
Metropolitan Avenue, but 18-wheelers
will pull straight into a zone within
the property four feet below street
level and protected by a retaining
wall to allow trucks to back in without
eff ecting traffi c on busy street and
without putting pedestrians going to
and from the M train at risk.
The distance between the truck bay
entrances and the retaining wall would
be about 60 feet.
Rentar’s bid to reinvent the 66-26
Metropolitan Ave. shopping center
comes aft er two big-box tenants, Kmart
and Toys R Us, closed down in 2018 and
left the company with few options to
fi ll the space than to subdivide for
retailers with smaller needs.
Felice Bassin from Rentar has
said the traditional big-box retailers
are either going out of business or
downsizing, such as Target, which is
opting for smaller spaces.
Ratner told QNS in January that it
did not currently have a tenant interest
in the vacant spaces.
Rentar feels it must break up the
190,000 total square feet of the space
into three parts instead of just two, and
three tenants will probably need more
than the current eight loading bays
located to the west of the building.
The front of the building currently
has an entrance and two garden
planters that need DOT approval to
be removed since it was the agency
that allowed them to be built on the
sidewalk in the fi rst place.
Community members currently
have a petition online to have target
consider taking one of the spaces in
Rentar Plaza aft er the Kmart and Toys
R Us moved out.
The exterior of Rentar Plaza in Middle Village.
Photo: Mark Hallum/RIDGEWOOD TIMES
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