The supermarket that for years has been promised to be replace a once-beautiful but now-dilapidated section of the Brooklyn Navy Yard may finally be on its way.
Wegmans, a Rochester-based grocery store chain with hundreds of thousands of rabid fans, plans to open a store at the site of Admirals Row on the former military installation, Navy Yard bigwigs announced on Wednesday, claiming family-owned company was the best choice for the Navy Yard.
“With Wegmans and the entire redevelopment of Admirals Row, local residents will gain needed amenities and the Brooklyn Navy Yard will further its mission to create good-paying, high-quality jobs for area residents,” said David Ehrenberg, president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.
The supermarket should be ready by 2017.
Cult fans said they were stoked to learn that their favorite grocery is coming to Brooklyn.
“I went to college upstate, and Wegmans is the best of the best,” said Kenneth Albermarle. “I live nowhere near the Navy Yard, but I can see myself going there regularly for Wegmans.”
The grocer will anchor a $140 million redevelopment of the former Admirals Row, a section of dilapidated townhomes that were used to house navy brass. Officials for Steiner Studios, the company who is spearheading the redevelopment, could not be immediately reached to say what else it will include, the Wegmans officials said it will include the grocer, a manufacturing space, and a community facility.
Wegmans officials said the new store will eventually create more than 600 permanent jobs in the neighborhood. It plans to initially hire 450 people, including 150 full time positions, and will grow to 600 jobs, with 250 of those being full time.
Wegmans, which was founded in 1916, has 85 stores throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
It isn’t the first time a supermarket was promised for the site — a controversial plan that has been on the table since 2009 and required the demolition of historic buildings that the city approved in 2012.
In 2011, plans for a $60-million ShopRite supermarket collapsed, when the city’s chosen developer, Aaron Malinsky, was arrested in a bribery scandal alongside disgraced state Sen. Carl Kruger (D–Mill Basin).