Shuttering of Brooklyn Pathmark Has Lawmakers Shopping for Affordable Options

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Pathmark grocery store in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn is closing, and local city lawmakers want to make sure it's replaced by another affordable option.

Pathmark's owner, the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, announced it was closing 32 "under-performing" Pathmarks nationwide last week. That includes three in the New York City area, like the store in Commack, Long Island, and another in Hartsdale, New York.

The A&P filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December of last year.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, who represents the area, is part of a coalition of lawmakers who pushed for the Pathmark to open in the neighborhood in 2002. The coalition includes Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Senator Carl Kruger and others.

Now, the lawmakers are pushing to make sure another affordable option replaces the closing supermarket.

"We don't have malls," Weiner said. "We don't even have small mini mall. When you lose a grocery store those people who would usually walk to go shopping will now somehow have to go elsewhere. That's going to have deleterious effect on the shoe store, on the neighborhood record store, on the florist, on everything that's around."

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is also working to bring another operator into the space. Anthony Speelman with the union estimates 350 to 400 members will lose their jobs due to the closing supermarkets. He said they're working to make sure the Pathmark in Brooklyn is replaced quickly.

"Maybe that's Key Foods. Maybe that's D'Agostino. Maybe that's Shop Rite. Maybe that's Stop & Shop," Speelman said. "We're actively pursuing all the companies we have contracts with because it is a good store. It's just unfortunate that A&P is in bankruptcy."

Weiner said he's hoping to at least delay the closure of the Pathmark until they can secure another buyer.

"This Sheepshead Bay neighborhood is not an impoverished neighborhood," he said. "Its a working, middle class community with plenty of income. So if a supermarket is closing there it's a sign of how bad things are elsewhere."

Pathmark still has a 10-year lease on the space. It is currently owned by the LeFrak Organization, who did not return WNYC's request for comment about its future plans for the space.


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Comments [6]

Zoeey from somerset

A&P sucks! A&P will make sure that the building does not get rented out to another competitor! That is why the other stores that closed were not replaced!

Feb. 24 2011 10:09 AM
Gerald from Park Slope

I'm in the marketing industry and I've been following this story. The only option I see presented in various media is another supermarket. Another supermarket might be the best option for the communities walking distance for groceries, but what bargaining power will the gov reps have in negotiations without other options.

A story about why this Sheepshead Bay area presents a challenge providing enough profit for a supermarket would be very informative and may uncover a problem other areas in brooklyn may soon face.

I thought thinking about at least one other option would be helpful, so I posted it here.

Feb. 24 2011 12:58 AM
eddy de

Kind of strange that it is "under-performing" it always seems crowded?

Feb. 22 2011 09:26 AM
dave leoszewski from New Jersey

The Pathmark in my area, Somerville,NJ closed and nothing replaced it.

Feb. 22 2011 08:57 AM
Reinkefj from 08824

Does anyone else see the "lawmakers" as the problem? Even more than the "unions" being displaced. Too many diktats (i.e., "laws", regs, rights, programs, fees, traffic tickets, politician's hands out, crime, corruption, taxes) to make a profit. It's obvious?

Feb. 22 2011 07:55 AM
patsygwhite from oakpark

Thank you very much! Here is my 2 cents, I just printed Coupons for free. You can print coupons before you shop by searching "Printapons" online

Feb. 22 2011 03:15 AM

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