A New York-based developer is facing backlash after telling a supermarket tenant to vacate its Crown Heights store.
Midwood Investment and Development, has notified the Associated Supermarket at 975 Nostrand Avenue that its lease would not be extended beyond the spring, the grocery’s owner, Pablo Espinal, told Bklyner.
Midwood said the developer has been in talks with Espinal for more than two years about the company’s intention to change the use of the property as well as its willingness to work with the supermarket, which has been on a month-to-month deal since last summer. The store had renewed its lease after staving off another development effort in 2014.
Supermarket closings in the city inevitably trigger an outpouring of criticism and lament from community members and local elected officials.
Akel Williams, a Crown Heights resident, called the Associated’s pending closure a “tragedy” that would make it “much more difficult for our seniors and many who for years have relied on Associated Supermarket to be an affordable food source.”
Alejandra Caraballo, a member of Brooklyn Community Board 9, which represents the area, wrote on Twitter that the store has been a “vital link to access food for so many in Crown Heights.”
“We can’t allow more grocery stores in the neighborhood to close so developers can build condos,” Caraballo said. The site’s zoning allows for a mid-size apartment building.
Associated took over the location from A&P, which opened the store in 1991 and filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
Midwood has yet to file for any demolition or construction permits, according to Bklyner. [Bklyner] — Akiko Matsuda