By Sabina Mollot
Last week, following an op-ed being published in the newspaper The Villager in support of the Small Business Jobs and Survival Act, many Stuyvesant Town residents became alarmed after reading a sentence that mentioned the owner of the complex’s Associated supermarket was told he would not get a lease renewal.
Town & Village since reached out to Blackstone, and a spokesperson for the landlord, Paula Chirhart, said a final decision on whether to renew or not has not yet been made. Joseph Falzon, a co-owner of The Associated, confirmed this when we called although he added he wasn’t feeling confident that he’d get a renewal. He added that he was “99 percent sure” he wouldn’t.
The store’s been open on East 14th Street for over 25 years. Meanwhile, Blackstone reiterated its commitment to keeping an affordable supermarket in that space.
The op-ed was penned by Kirsten Theodos, an East Village resident who has been actively pushing the SBJSA with the Take Back NYC movement. Town & Village has previously endorsed this long pending legislation, which is aimed at giving small businesses an automatic 10-year renewal when their leases are up. It has yet to have a hearing in the City Council, and does not have the support of the mayor. Critics, like the Real Estate Board of New York, have said it has legal issues, though we haven’t heard any explanations of what, if any, they are.