Friday, March 11, 2016

Save Our Supermarket

Neighborhood supermarkets are dropping like flies all over the city, pushed out by rising rents. Here goes another.

The Associated Supermarket on 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues is being forced to close by a 500%+ rent increase from its landlord, Pan Am Equities.

Councilmember Corey Johnson and a bunch of other folks will be protesting this Sunday, March 13, at 1:30 pm. They say:

"This supermarket is an important source of affordable groceries for the residents of Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Join us on Sunday as we call on the landlord to negotiate in good faith and preserve a vital source of affordable groceries."

10 comments:

Sam said...

How can we have neighborhoods without supermarkets? Are we all supposed to be wealthy enough to use Fresh Direct all the time? Should we be happy about those large trucks idling on our streets, causing congestion? Or do the millionaires who buy these apartments simply eat out all the time?

Supermarkets are essential infrastructure in our neighborhoods, and in Chelsea, we've lost five in the last several years. There are very few places left to shop, especially in the increasingly densely populated areas west of 7th Ave, all the way up to Hudson Yards.

This seems like a no-brainer to me for our City and State governments, who continue to encourage development in our residential neighborhoods. If we can't keep them in commercial, market-rate buildings, how about leasing some government-owned space in each neighborhood for affordable supermarkets? They can be run by the private sector, or some sort of co-operative, but if Fulton Houses and the like don't have any place to go to buy food other than Citarella - one mile away - then the government needs to intervene to keep them here.

Let's ensure that basic public amenities, such as supermarkets, are not forced out of our neighborhoods by government and market forces. It's awful to lose the local diner, or the 30 year old barbershop, but it's really dangerous to not have access to fresh food and vegetables and an affordable price.

Donnie Moder said...

This west 14th store and the East 14th Street Associated in Stuyvesant Town are both under threat of eviction. Both considered neighborhood necessities by a vocal contingent with local politicians voicing concern. That comes from the fact that commercial rents are very high these days. Associated probably had long term leases that have terminated recently. I often hear comments from my neighbors that groceries are too expensive. We have many grocery stores but expensive: whole foods, Gristides, Fairway, Ideal and "gourmet" places.

James said...

The same issue exists up here with an Associated on Fort Washington Avenue.
I wish this site weren't so myopic as to focus so keenly on the Village, but that seems to be the general parameter, save for a few selected Uptown things. If the whole of NYC were brought into the picture, the staggering reality might be even harder to take.

Whatever said...

This is all a product of Bloomberg's economic assault on Manhattan which DeBlasio has written off fir the remaining middle class families and fixed income residents.

Donnie Moder said...

Well there are 3 Gristedes, one on 22nd/8th, 24th/9th, 26th/8th that are very close to each other. Then Ideal Foods 29th/9th. All large supermarkets. Whole Foods 25th/7th, Fairway 26th/6th, Garden of Eden 23rd/7th, Trader Joe's 22nd/6th, plus many smaller grocery stores all over. Chelsea Market. Outdoor markets. Fruit and veg carts. None of it is very cheap. If you want cheap, the fruit/veg cart and Ideal Foods is best in my opinion. If you want short line, service, go to Gristedes.

Donnie Moder said...

Brainstorm: Find some room in the Fulton Houses grounds for the super market, perhaps on the parking lot. Lease to an Associated, FoodTown or other affordable grocery food chain at a reasonable rate. Build parking garage above or below it to keep parking. Otherwise, take over some nearby vegan restaurants by eminent domain and build a government mandated Pathmark there?

onemorefoldedsunset said...

This is such an important, city-wide issue, whether it's East Harlem, Chelsea, or Gowanus. Property values, and the influx of wealthier residents with very different spending habits - "destination" grocery stores & Fresh Direct home delivery - are wreaking havoc on the vital needs of regular residents. It's FOOD, for God's sake! The loss of supermarkets hits poorer & elderly New Yorkers the hardest, but it affects all of us. Even in today's toney Park Slope, a large Key Food on Fifth serves a diverse range of residents, some of whom travel a good distance to shop there. The developer who plans to raze it for apartment rentals & high-end retail offers a tiny superette as a sop to the locals.
The lack of affordable supermarkets is also creating even more of a social divide in the city. I like the city microcosm feel of a Key Food or C-Town, but a Union Market or Gowanus Whole Foods is Brooklyn Stepfordesque. And as for those Fresh Direct trucks that idle on the block every night ...

Eddie M said...

Out neighborhood has become tourist's stomping grounds. The business and landlords don't care about the residents that have been here for decades. Chelsea and the Village have become playgrounds for the wealthy. Their long time residents are being forced out because food has become unaffordable. This is just another disgrace brought upon by the greed of the wealthy.

Sam said...

@ Donnie - Your list of grocery stores is correct, but there's nothing below 22nd street. The nearest supermarket after that is the expensive Westside Market on 14th and 7th. None of these are local to Fulton Houses, for example, or the non-wealthy residents of the west Village (where there isn't another supermarket, other than the soon to be shuttered D'Agostinos, for many blocks), nor the far west side.

Having said that, I think your Fulton supermarket solution is the right one.

Mikema Reape said...

As a former Harlem resident, I'm waiting to see how the new Whole Foods on Lenox is going to do. Many people in Harlem are still upset that the Pathmark on 125th is gone.