The plans for the redevelopment of Trump Village Shopping Center are finally becoming clearer, but residents still don’t like the picture.
A source close to the developer said plans for the site — which have still not yet been filed with the city — envision a new, “upscale” shopping center on the ground floor of the proposed 40-story residential tower, and residents are worried the change will strip the strip mall of establishments they rely on, such doctors’ offices and pharmacies.
The source said plans for the new shopping center do include at least one pharmacy and doctor’s office, along with a mix of retailers and restaurants. But one longtime local said that’s a far cry from the variety of services he and his mostly elderly neighbors are used to at the shopping center, which currently includes two big-box pharmacies and the offices of eight medical specialists.
“My primary care physician is there,” said Brian Gotlieb, who has lived in his Trump Village apartment for nearly 30 years. “In the same suite, you have physical therapist, you have urologist, a gastroenterologist.”
He said every medical service is essential to residents — especially because so many of the locals living in nearby apartments are elderly with limited mobility and so can’t travel far for their frequent appointments.
Gotlieb used food as an analogy to describe what residents will lose if their medical services are reduced.
“It is just something where you have a high senior population and you want to make things more accessible to them rather than take the option away,” he said. “When you talk about groceries and supermarkets, there is a difference between a bodega … and going to Costco.”
The residents’ worries have attracted widespread attention. The area’s councilman, who is also alarmed by the plans, said he is organizing a meeting with local elected officials to discuss the development.
“I am very concerned about the development, and that is why I’m putting a meeting together with all elected officials,” said Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay).
But for now, residents still have numerous unanswered questions — like which stores from the current complex will be returning and what new additional stores are being added — and Gotlieb said the residents deserve concrete answers.
“These are all questions that need to be answered before it all goes through,” he said.