A new supermarket chain is poised to open in the shuttered Pathmark building on Nostrand Avenue, this paper has learned.
Aldi Supermarket, a subsidiary of Trader Joe’s, is expected to move onto Nostrand Avenue in late 2013, according to a DNA Info report.
A company spokesman refused to confirm the move — claiming that the chain would be releasing more information later this week — but sources said the supermarket chain is poised to move into the sprawling commercial space between Avenues Y and Z that’s remained empty ever since Pathmark left Seepshead Bay in April, 2011.
“An announcement should be forthcoming,” said Borough President Markowitz, who refused to say anything else about the new supermarket except, “it’s going to be positive.”
Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D–Midwood) wouldn’t divulge the name of the supermarket chain either, but was slightly more forthcoming. She, Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park), and Markowitz have been working with the owner of the property to fill the space for some time, she said.
“We have really been pushing for a supermarket there and have gotten tremendous cooperation from the owners of the property, who are sympathetic to the needs of the community,” she told us last week, adding that she and her fellow civic leaders have fought to keep the sprawling property a supermarket even before Pathmark moved in. “When Waldbaum’s left that location, we fought to get Pathmark in there, and I remain very optimistic that we’ll have something similar in there soon.”
Bankrupt food giant A&P, which bought the Pathmark chain in 2007, closed 32 “unprofitable” stores in six states in 2011 — including the Nostrand Avenue Pathmark, which opened 10 years earlier.
A&P Spokeswoman Marcy Connor said the Nostrand Avenue store was sacrificed after a “continuous and detailed financial analysis of our store portfolio,” when she spoke with a Courier Life reporter last year.
Sheepshead Bay shoppers found suitable replacements at the Silver Star market across the street from the closed Pathmark and the Food Basics eight blocks away on Coyle Street — which some say is cheaper than Pathmark.
“Food Basics took all the old business from Pathmark because it’s much less expensive,” said shopper Helen Minkowitz.
Yet Pathmark’s departure did more than inconvenience shoppers: a handful of Nostrand Avenue small businesses that relied on foot traffic from a shuttered supermarket went under within four months of its closure, local realtors say.
“A big supermarket like that brings people to the neighborhood,” said Steve Blackburn, a partner at Premiere Properties.
The only large supermarket franchise headquartered in New Jersey other than A&P is ShopRite, which already has several locations in Brooklyn. ShopRite also has plans to open a new store at the Gateway II shopping plaza in East New York, where Walmart was eyeing before abandoning its plans last month.
Reach reporter Colin MIxson at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4514.