Windsor Terrace wins! Walgreens to share former Key Food space with Key Food

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

A new, smaller Key Food will open in the Prospect Avenue space where a beloved Key Food closed last summer, marking a huge win for Windsor Terrace activists who threatened to boycott the incoming drugstore tenant if their grocery needs went unmet.

The pharmacy chain Walgreens announced it will share a section of the former Key Food space at the corner of 11th Avenue with a grocery outpost following months of petitions, rallies, and meetings by angry neighbors who raged against the prospect of living in a supermarket-less “food desert.”

“Never underestimate Windsor Terrace,” said Ryan Lynch, whose group “Green Beans Not Walgreens” gathered nearly 5,000 signatures in a petition against Walgreens. “This is a big victory for our community and a testament to everyone who worked on this.”

Neighbors are treating the compromise as a major victory, considering their widely circulated petition noted that Walgreens officials rejected a request in June to “work with the property owner to reach an agreement that would expand the building and allow both a Walgreens and a full-service supermarket on the site.”

The nation’s largest pharmacy chain admitted that community pressure made the difference.

“This would not have happened if you guys didn’t voice your concerns,” said Walgreens representative Hien Nguyen.

The building will be modified to fit the Key Food annex, with Walgreens occupying two-thirds of the site, a store spokesman said.

The Key Foods, though slightly smaller than its predecessor, will offer glass-encased produce section, a deli and prepared foods section, a butcher, and a seafood counter as well as the standard array of dry goods, frozen foods, beverages, and snacks.

Both outlets will open in July or August, and according to planners each will give special consideration to former employees of the old Key Foods for hiring.

Politicians who organized multiple town hall meetings in the convenience-store-vs.-grocery-store battle cheered the news, as well.

“Congratula­tions to the people of Windsor Terrace for making their voices heard,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope).

Borough President and Windsor Terrace resident Marty Markowitz said Walgreens’ concession is an example of what makes this nation great.

“In America, it’s possible, if people organize against a major corporation, things can happen!” he told the energized crowd.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. Follow him at
Updated 10:08 pm, July 9, 2018: Story updated to include more details and information from last night's meeting.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

John Wasserman from Windsor Terrace says:
Thank you in advance for pardoning me for the interruption, but this can only be very good news, if you don't mind my saying so.
Feb. 22, 2013, 12:34 pm
JAY from NYC says:
You know this is good news, but I would not celebrate just yet, the new key food is only gong to be a third of the building which means its gonna be really small, like maybe the size of a large bodega. Hopefully it will be good, but I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be left wanting more.
The building has a good sized lot that generates no revenue, to me, they should expand the building some to allow a decent sized grocery store to be there, don't take the whole lot, leave some of the parking, but use maybe 30% of it to expand the buildings foot print, and then you would get an ok grocery store next to a drug store and that would probably be a winner.
Feb. 22, 2013, 8:26 pm
Liz from Windsor Terrace says:
It's not really a victory for Windsor Terrace. The neighborhood wanted a quality supermarket and not a big chain pharmacy. We are getting a big chain pharmacy and a very small supermarket. The new grocery was compared to the little key Food on Fifth Avenue, which is very cramped and unpleasant to use. Now there will be twice the truck traffic as well. I'm okay with saying a compromise was reached but won't acknowledge a victory.
Feb. 22, 2013, 9:42 pm
Cathy from Windsor Terrace says:
The little Key Food on 5th Avenue is in some ways better than our old Key Food was. Although cramped, they carry some interesting specialty products along with quality produce that is not all wilted. And remember, this Key Food won't have to use space for all of the toiletry and household items that Walgreens will sell. So I am cautiously optimistic.
Feb. 23, 2013, 10:56 am
Transplant from Here to stay says:
Wow, you must be lying in a real food desert if you celebrate a Key Food. Brooklyn Fare, baby!
Feb. 23, 2013, 4:34 pm
Tony from WT says:
Feb. 23, 2013, 9:06 pm
Trey Dooley from WT says:
In my day, when men were men and puppets were puppets, we didn't celebrate the opening of a Key Food that's one-third the size of the original Key Food. But what shocks the conscience the most is the sloppiness of reporting here. The reader must know the full dimensions before and after -- and dimensions of comparable stores. How many square feet is the entire building -- and how many square feet is the Union Market on Seventh Avenue, for example, or the truncated Key Food on Fifth Avenue?

It is frustrating to have more questions than answers. I expect more from the typically excellent Brooklyn Paper. The fact that the Paper no longer carries my column is beside the point.
Feb. 23, 2013, 10:18 pm
diehipster from Euthenizing Yups says:
I'm happy that the normal, long-time residents of this neighborhood will still have a familiar, real-New York place to shop; too bad it will be much smaller though.

Keep in mind though: if Walgreens fails and closes, the entire property will most likely be bought and turned into some smug market that sells $8.00 baguettes, 3.5oz jars of artisanal mayonnaise and vegetables sold at three times their actual value. This will be to satisfy the smug newcomers to the area who are in a rat race competing to see who can be the hippest gentrifier of them all.

Good luck!
Feb. 24, 2013, 8:19 am
ty from pps says:
Trey -- "I expect more from the typically excellent Brooklyn Paper." ?
Feb. 24, 2013, 12:08 pm
Pietro from Windsor Terrace says:

The former Key food was not 'beloved"-It smelled
bad, and the staff was often unfriendly, but it was
the only Supermarket nearby with parking.
Feb. 26, 2013, 11:03 am
Robert AkA Bobby Terrace from Windsor Terrace says:
I grew up in Windsor terrace for 33 Years. I Moved to Florida 2 years ago. In my Opinion Windsor terrace is the only good neighborhood Left in brooklyn. I moved to Florida because most Area's not including Windsor terrace have Become Overpopulated and for several reasons like this. Publix Smokes! All these stores in Nyc. However....To the people in Windsor terrace who for Years had the Luxury to stay in this small Neighborhood and to not have to drive through traffic and go to other stores where there is never! Any parking, Key Food Served this neighborhood like it was a Publix for Years! Great parking and No traffic. A lot of people could walk there from Greenwood ave and seeley street. Now what's their Option? Foodtown on Mcdonald ave? In a Congested Run down commercial Dumpy Dirty Area? Even with the small Key food section being allowed to take 33% with Walgreens its a Joke! A Full Service Supermarket Belongs there. Now the Quality of the Neighborhood is destroyed! As the people will be forced to drive through Traffic and much aggravation to travel out of the Zip Code and go to PPW or 7th ave and NOT have much parking. Or drive to Red Hook and another bad Area to go to Pathmark or Fairway? or Sunset park to Costco? This is the Problem. If they had More big chains with huge Parking Lots, Key Food being gone would not be such a Big Issue. However because there is no space to put anything LOL...Good Luck Windsor terrace.
March 6, 2013, 11:11 pm
A. from Windsor Terrace says:
I don't know what you guys are thinking but Key Food was a horribly managed, overpriced, horrible excuse for a grocery store. I celebrated when I heard that place was going out of business. I wasn't too happy with Walgreens but you know what? It's a whole lot better than buying 3 month old cheese labeled as fresh (believe me, it happened way more than you people are aware, I worked there). The management was greedy and treated their workers like crap (which is why they were all miserable). God help you if you weren't a Yankees fan too...

Do yourself a favor and go support the REAL small businesses just 2 blocks away on Prospect Park West.
March 7, 2013, 9:43 pm
yola windsor place from windsor terrace says:
This is pythetic ! How many drug stores does parkslope need ? There are 2 on 9th ave. 2 on 5th ave and this walgreens sheshh . WE dont need a 33% size supermarket we need a 75% good supermarket and Key Food managment is terrible . Their last store was so dirty and smelly .The parking lots is soo big and everytime Iwent shopping I could just count about 20 cars on a BUSY day . Thats it .. neighborhood ppl walked too the store with their own shopping carts . Let Walgreens get 25% and spend their millions on reconstruction of the parking lot for "THEIR" utilization they should even put a drive-thru soo pll could just pick up their meds when ready . Walgreens you have not really given ppl in windsor terrace anything great . What we need is good food choices too feed our families . Not drugs or batteries , or your so called "NICE " products .
March 13, 2013, 8:24 am
yola from windsor place says:
WHERE is this shopping store ? When is this Key food gonna open .. I have walked passed the green wood fence for MONTHS ! I peek through and see a MESS . Just a demolition JOB ! whats going ON ??
March 25, 2014, 12:18 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: