The site of Nostrand Avenue’s Associated supermarket has a new owner, throwing yet another wrench into the contentious redevelopment of the site, according to the developers involved.
Midwood Development, the former owner of the property near Empire Boulevard in Crown Heights, announced on Aug. 26 that they had sold the expansive lot to developer Hudson Companies for an undisclosed sum.
“As long-time believers in this neighborhood, we’re excited for the opportunity to create much-needed housing, while supporting the preservation of a valued neighborhood business,” said David Kramer, president of The Hudson Companies. “We know that thoughtful development can serve multiple needs and look forward to delivering an excellent project to our neighbors in the Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens communities.”
Hudson has developed projects across the five boroughs, including the nearby ‘Parkline’ development on Flatbush Avenue, and ‘Clark’ and ‘Lois’ projects on Clarkson Avenue.
While Hudson plans to continue the redevelopment of the site, they also committed to honoring a deal struck by Midwood Development to allow Pablo Espinal — the owner of the Nostrand Avenue Associated Market — to reopen the market on the ground floor in the new building after construction is completed.
Espinal signed a 15-year lease for a 21,000 square foot space in the new site in July, which the developers say is included in the sale of the land.
Midwood previously sparked outrage in the community once news of the long-running supermarket’s imminent closure broke. Locals protested outside the supermarket, and even staged a demonstration outside the Manhattan apartment of Midwood’s president, worrying the neighborhood would become a “food desert” if the market was shuttered.
The developer seven sued Espinal over the campaign to save the market, claiming it was a “smear campaign” against the developer that caused them to lose “millions and millions of dollars” in tax abatements and business opportunities.
After hitting a break in negotiations, the two entities struck a deal, and Midwood has said they will move to withdraw their litigation.
“Over the last 50 years we have remained a committed member of the Crown Heights community and are proud to have worked with Hudson, a developer who shares our commitment, to ensure that this site continues to play a vital role for the neighborhood,” said John Usdan, president of Midwood Development.
Construction at the Associated site is expected to begin next year, according to Hudson.