A group of more than 75 riled−up borough residents marched along Hillside Avenue in Queens Village last weekend to call for a renewed lease between a neighborhood supermarket and its landlord.
The residents, who hailed from Queens Village, Glen Oaks and Bellerose, joined state Sen. Frank Padavan (R−Bellerose), state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D−Little Neck) and Bob Friedrich, president of the Glen Oaks Village co−op and a City Council contender, outside the neighborhood’s Food Dynasty Saturday and marched around the premises, holding signs and chanting “S.O.S. — Save our supermarket!”
Friedrich said a grocery store has been located at Food Dynasty’s site at 220−46 Hillside Ave. for more than 50 years. He said the market’s lease expires this month and negotiations between its owners and landlord Allan Goldman had recently stalled.
Residents of nearby Bell Park Manor Terrace, many of whom are seniors or mothers with young children, would have difficulty getting to other grocery stores if Food Dynasty is forced to leave the site, he said. The co−op is home to an estimated 800 families, he said.
“It’s the only supermarket in the area, so this could be devastating,” Friedrich said. “This is not Manhattan. We have no subways and limited transportation alternatives. We have a tough economy now, so it would serve no one’s interest to have an empty store in a residential community. We will vigorously oppose anything other than a supermarket at this site.”
Sol Goldman Investments declined comment.
A spokesman for Food Dynasty said the supermarket intended to stay at the site, but that he could not comment any further on ongoing negotiations.
Linda Gritsch, a member of Bellerose’s Rocky Hill Civic Association, said she and her family have done their grocery shopping at the site since they moved to the neighborhood in 1961. Key Food and Pantry Pride previously operated supermarkets in the building currently occupied by Food Dynasty.
“It would be very hard for mothers with young kids,” Gritsch said of the possibility that the supermarket would leave the site. “And, for seniors, its not just a matter of sustenance, but also for exercise.”
Weprin said elected officials representing the area would ensure that a grocery store remains at the site. Negotiations have resumed between the landlord and the supermarket chain, Padavan said.
“I think we can be optimistic,” he said. “And it’s unthinkable that we could lose. If it’s not this supermarket, it had better be another one.”
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.
©2009 Community News Group
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