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A proposal to put a Costco in the 3.3 -million-square-foot Riverside South development project has been nixed. The developer, Extell Development Co., made calls to Upper West Side elected officials on Sept. 26 to announce the newest change to the plan. Extell also eliminated 500 parking spaces from project; the developer initially requested 2,300 spots. "[President of Extell] Gary Barnett has heard the concerns of the community, the community board and elected officials, as well as City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden and her staff, and has therefore eliminated Costco and 500 parking spaces from Riverside Center," said George Arzt, Extell spokesman. Whether another large national retail chain will take the place of a Costco remains to be seen. "We haven't decided what our plans are," Arzt said. "We're looking at all options." The idea of a Costco was first introduced at an unpublicized July 22 meeting of an ad-hoc Community Board 7 committee called the Riverside South Working Group. There has yet to be another meeting of the working group since July 22, according to Board 7 Chair Helen Rosenthal, but she said he next meeting concerning will be open to the public. "We will be having a public hearing pre-certification in October," Rosenthal said. The date of the hearing is currently being determined and will be posted on the board's website. Rep. Jerrold Nadler praised Extell's decision, but noted there are other troubling aspects of the project, which is being built between West 59th and 61st streets near the West Side Highway. Nadler said he would push to add a new school, control density and a get an appropriate mix of affordable and market-rate housing in the development. "I am pleased that Extell has demonstrated a willingness to be flexible and responsive to the wishes of community residents and their elected representatives," Nadler said in a statement. "The developer's decision to eliminate a big box store and 500 parking spaces from the Riverside South proposal is a good start."

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