Save our supermarket
The following is an open letter to Stuyvesant Town Property Services CEO/Stuy Town General Manager Rick Hayduk,
As a 41-year long resident of Stuyvesant Town, I am writing to ask you to reconsider Blackstone’s determination to raise the rent against the Associated Supermarket on 14 th Street, causing them to leave our neighborhood.
It is most distressing that almighty profit once again outweighs the value that that market has had in our neighborhood for 25 years.
When I first learned that the store would open there, I was dubious. However, they have been able to run the store and the multiple complications connected with that with a minimum of disruption to us… despite the load in of product, the removal of garbage and the acceptance of bottles from street collectors.
The store’s employees are like family to us… we have seen them get their first job, pay for college, get married, take maternity leave and return, and have a decent job for these many years.
That has been an invaluable commitment on the store owners’ parts, creating a special feeling for those of us who have shopped there.
I know this letter won’t change your mind or the direction your negotiations take.
But I hope it makes you a little less able to look yourself in the mirror.
Lynne Hayden-Findlay, ST
Sticking with Associated
Re: “ST Associated’s space expected to be taken over by Morton Williams,” T&V, May 25 and “Morton Williams won’t sign lease in ST,” T&V, June 1
I was blue to see that Associated is losing their lease. I have met no one who knows how to run a supermarket like Joe Falzon. As well, Norman Q., Sheena and all the people whether behind the registers or stocking the shelves, with most all of them worthy, cheerful and helpful.
Most important, if you had a problem at Associated, you talked to whomever was in charge at the time and were accommodated politely.
It’ll be a longer, but worthwhile, walk to Joe Falzon and company’s 6th Street Associated.
Billy Sternberg, ST
Even supermarkets have shelf lives
I couldn’t be happier when I learned that the lease for Associated Supermarkets was not going to be renewed. And now I am even happier to hear that Morton Williams, who is under the same ownership, has backed out of signing a lease for the space as well.
For far too long Associated and its ownership has reaped the benefit of being the only game in town. PCV-ST management over the years has allowed this to go on too long. As a result, we residents have been subject to one of the two most unpleasant shopping experiences you could imagine. The other, Gristedes, is the only alternative full service option. Both of these stores are filthy and have engaged in price gouging for years, all under the guise of the “cost of doing business in NYC.” That would never fly in a corporate run store like Trader Joe’s or Target.
Morton Williams is certainly a step up from Associated, but it is ironic that the owner will not sign a lease because of competition with Trader Joe’s, planning to locate across the street. Haven’t they been watching their Associated customers for the past 15 years who leave their store to go buy produce from the cart across the street? Clearly, Morton Williams would do no better, same story with a different name.
This is 2017 and not 1970! PCV-ST management has an obligation to this community and a great opportunity to put the right grocer in that space. There are some terrific options such as one of Whole Foods newer “small format” stores. It only makes sense! We would then have, together with Trader Joe’s and Target, also going on 14th Street, three legitimate modern day “pseudo” supermarkets in the neighborhood. Back in the day there were more than five full service stores! Anyone miss D’Agostino?
Of course, you could walk all the way to Union Square, or order your groceries online and let them sit in the lobby of your building on a hot summer’s day. That doesn’t appear to be working for most in PCV-ST. Especially the elderly!
The only negative aspect of losing Associated and not gaining Morton Williams is that many of the long-time employees of Associated could wind up without jobs. However, if PCV-ST makes the right move for tenants and the neighborhood, and brings in a modern grocer like Whole Foods, everyone will benefit.
Chris P., PCV