Grocery store takes 20K sf in NYCHA’s Williamsburg Houses

Associated Supermarkets signed 30-year lease on Graham Avenue

Williamsburg Houses (Jim.henderson, CC BY-SA 3.0, iStock)
Williamsburg Houses (Jim.henderson, CC BY-SA 3.0, iStock)

A new supermarket is moving into NYCHA’s Williamsburg Houses.

Associated Supermarkets signed a 30-year lease at 229-247 Graham Avenue for 10,700 square feet of ground level and another 10,000 square feet of lower level space, which will be used for storage.

Greg Parassio and Brian Doyle from Booth Capital represented both the landlord and tenant on the deal.

At the building, NYCHA is collaborating with private developer MDG Design and Construction, which will renovate the residential and retail components of the property through the PACT Program.

NYCHA has approximately 2.5 million square feet of non-residential space dedicated to community uses, including around 230,000 square feet of retail space. A 2021 analysis by The Real Deal found the portfolio is plagued with usage restrictions, vacancies and complicated application procedures, preventing NYCHA from using the opportunity for revenue generation.

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Restrictions for businesses include bars, liquor stores, art galleries and pawn shops. Restaurants may only open in certain spaces where they’ve been grandfathered in. Some spaces for rent note that they may not be used for groceries or delis.

Supermarkets, on the other hand, are largely welcomed.

A 2016 report by the Manhattan Institute found that 180 of NYCHA’s properties are located in areas classified by the city as “underserved,” or having less than three square feet of supermarket floor space per capita. Some large NYCHA properties are located more than half a mile from the nearest supermarket.

Parassio said supermarkets were “by far and away the number one category” MDG and NYCHA asked the company to target.

“For a long, long time this particular neighborhood didn’t have the exact type of supermarket either from a quality perspective or an affordability perspective that serves the long term residents of the immediate community,” Parassio.