Park Slope Key Food will close this summer ahead of redevelopment

Market watch: Slopers ponder Fifth Ave. Key Food’s fate after months pass with no signs of site’s redevelopment
The Fifth Avenue Key Food will close this summer after years of anticipation.
File photo by Louise Wateridge

Park Slopers looking for groceries will soon have one fewer option, as the Key Food on Fifth Avenue will shutter in July ahead of a long-planned redevelopment of the site, a store manager confirmed. 

The food emporium, which became a favorite for locals with cars due to its adjacent parking lot, will close sometime next month to make way for a mixed-use development with 184 apartments, a 130-car parking garage, and space for a new supermarket. 

While construction is taking place, locals will need to look elsewhere for grocery shopping. 

The development — which calls for 46 of the new apartments to be below-market-rate — is the brainchild of developers William Macklowe Company and Senlac Ridge Partners, who sought permission to erect the new building along with the Fifth Avenue Committee, Park Slope Neighbors, the Warren Street Houses Tenant Association, and Councilmember Brad Lander’s office through a community cooperation agreement. 

The agreement ensures that the retail space reserved for a supermarket would be larger than originally pitched, scored more income-targeted housing for the development, and require the developer to support road safety improvements to the area. It also includes a clause that whatever grocer replaces the Key Food cannot be an upscale brand like Whole Foods or Balducci’s. 

The original plan for the expansive site involved two separate buildings with 165 rentals, 41 of which would have been affordable, and a smaller space for a supermarket, but was changed after extensive negotiations. William Macklowe and Senlac Ridge bought the development site from the original developer AHI, who agreed to stick to the terms of the community cooperation agreement. 

“From the moment we purchased this site, we committed to working in close collaboration with key local civic organizations, community leaders, and Councilmember Brad Lander to shape a vibrant new development that is harmonious with the surrounding neighborhood,” Billy Macklowe, CEO of the William Macklowe Company said in a statement. “We look forward to creating a project that will bring many amenities to the area, including new restaurants, a variety of retail shops and services, along with a full-scale supermarket, and housing for individuals and families across a range of incomes.”

Construction is slated to begin by the end of 2021, with a new supermarket set to open in the new space by 2024.