Lowe’s Is Heading to
By Katerina Zachovalova
Monday through Friday during the working hours, the run-down streets of
But despite their surroundings, local residents who live in houses which had been built before this area was zoned as manufacturing enjoy to live here. “Manufacturers are good neighbors. They are quiet during nights and weekends. More people park here during the day, but that is in the time when we are not here anyway,” said community activist and attorney Ben Meskin, 42, who has lived in the neighborhood for almost 13 years.
Ben Meskin and his wife Angela bought a
one-family house on
Although the local residents and businesses agree that the site calls for development, they do not share the same opinion about who should become their new neighbor. The homeowners who tolerate noisy and polluting factories fear that a large retail store may worsen the quality of their life.
“Traffic is always a problem around here,” said Ben Meskin. He assumes that shoppers will invade neighborhood in the evenings and on weekends, and the nearby streets will roar and rumble even in the times when they are usually silent. “Traffic is like water. It finds its own level. You can’t just say we will put it on this street. It will be everywhere,” he added. Meskin said that Lowe’s might become very attractive because a two-year-old Home Depot is close to Lowe’s site. “It will create synergy. People will come and run back and forth. If they do not find something in the first one, they will find it in the other,” he said. Meskin prefers an industrial park or senior housing to a large retail store.
Since late 1990s, Lowe’s is the third candidate for a heavily polluted
nine acre site between 10th and 12th streets on
In a telephone interview, Lowe’s spokesman said that the company still
has to decide which site in
Unlike homeowners, the local businesses are not afraid of Lowe’s, if they
do not welcome it. “It is good for our
neighborhood. More people will come here
and shop,” said Raimond Duran, 35, who works as a salesclerk
at Altagracia Grocery on the corner of
Peter Leopoldi, 37, a manager of a family-owned
Leopoldi Hardware store on
Leopoldi’s customers seem to be resistant to retail chain store enticements. Park Slope resident Faith McLellan, 41, belongs among them: “We hate Lowe’s idea. We like this store here. Can you go to Lowe’s and get your key fixed? No way!”