Affordable grocery chain Lidl to expand into Brooklyn at site of former Park Slope Key Foods

lidl grocer store
Lidl is scheduled to open its first Brooklyn location on Fifth Avenue Park Slope in 2024, replacing the Key Foods that closed there last year.
Photo courtesy of Lidl

Lidl, a budget-friendly grocery store, is scheduled to arrive in Park Slope in 2024— as the center of a mixed-use development in place of the former Key Food on Fifth Avenue. 

The German grocer signed a lease with developers William Macklowe Company and Senlac Ridge Partners for its first Brooklyn outpost at 120 Fifth Avenue, and community leaders are lauding the new lease as one that fills a void in the community of an affordable grocer. 

A community stakeholder group, consisting of local civic organizations and backed by former Park Slope councilmember Brad Lander, initiated discussions with the developers advocating for a community-focused supermarket to replace the Key Foods. The community group, Lander, and the developers reached an agreement on the terms of construction back in 2017.

picture of produce shelf in a lidl supermarket
Lidl is known as an affordable community-focused grocer — exactly what a coalition of Park Slope community groups was looking for on Fifth Avenue. Photo courtesy of Lidl

Current Park Slope councilmember Shahana Hanif said she’s glad the developer has followed through on their prior commitment. 

“The selection of Lidl is a win for our community that would not have been possible without the advocacy and input of the Community Stakeholder Group,” Hanif said in a statement.  “In 2016, the [community group], working with my predecessor, initiated discussions with the project developers to ensure that a full-sized, affordable, high quality community supermarket replaced the Key Food.”

The pol said she will continue to work to ensure the rest of the group’s demands — including affordable housing, additional traffic safety considerations and working to reduce the impact of construction on nearby homes and businesses — as work continues.

“I am pleased to see that Macklowe/Senlac has followed through on the communities’ requests with Lidl’s selection and inclusion of [the Community Stakeholder Group]’s priorities in the new lease,” Hanif said. “I am eager to continue working with the developers, the Lidl team, and the [Community Stakeholder Group] to center our communities’ needs in the roll-out of this new resource for Park Slope and Gowanus residents.”

key foods
The Key Foods on Fifth Avenue closed in 2021 as part of a development agreement, and will be replaced with an affordable grocery store, Lidl, in 2024. File photo by Louise Wateridge

The standalone Key Food closed its doors in the summer of last year to make way for a mixed-use development with 184 apartments— of which 46 will be deemed “affordable”, a 130-car parking garage and a supermarket. 

In negotiations, the stakeholder group — which included the Fifth Avenue Committee, the Warren Houses Tenant Association, Park Slope Neighbors — requested the supermarket be larger than was originally planned, more below-market-rate apartments, and require the developer to support road safety improvements in the area. They also banned expensive, “high end” grocery stores like Whole Foods or Eataly from replacing the Key Food, insisting that an affordable grocery store be chosen so as not to price out locals.

The incoming Park Slope grocer will bring dozens of jobs to the area and offers employees a competitive wage and benefit package — including health care for all workers, whether they’re part or full-time, Lidl said.

The Brooklyn location will be its fourth in New York City as the store already has opened supermarkets in Staten Island and Harlem, and recently leased a storefront in Queens. The 25,000-square-foot Brooklyn store plans to open in 2024 following the completion of the development scheduled for the same year.