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Fairway Market in Little Neck will open in 2011, CB 11 says

A long-awaited Fairway Market chain store will now not likely open until the first quarter of 2011 at the Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center, members of Community Board 11 said this week.

The upscale market, which is replacing Waldbaum’s at 242-02 61st Ave. in Douglaston, was originally scheduled to open earlier this year and was then pushed back to November after its plans stalled with the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals.

But the project is now expected to open next year. Waldbaum’s lease expired in the spring.

“They told us it would probably not be open for another several months to allow for the renovation,” CB 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece said. “But they still haven’t renovated. It could be early next year or late spring.”

Fairway is a high-end supermarket chain. The stores prepare their own food, such as roast their own coffee, bake their own bread and keep a large inventory of cheeses as well as have on-site butchers, both kosher and non-kosher.

Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) said he was led to believe that technical issues had slowed down the renovations.

Fairway’s attorneys could not be reached for comment to provide an update for the project.

But Jeffrey Chester, an attorney for the store, had said Fairway would need six months to perform renovations. Once it opens, the market will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The store will provide welcome relief for the community’s seniors, who are often forced to walk up to one mile to Stop & Shop, which is the closest market to the Fairway site, or take a cab.

“It’s really bad in the immediate area,” said Elliot Socci, president of the Douglaston Civic Association. “Depending on the type of store they want to go to, seniors have to travel. It’s a long way if you don’t drive.”

He said the community has been overwhelmingly in favor of the market opening in the neighborhood. It will create 300 new union jobs in Douglaston.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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