TRADER JOE’S CLOSE TO SIGNING LEASE FOR ANOTHER UWS STORE: REPORT

columbus retail

Holy rumor of rumors Batman! The Upper West Side may be close to getting a second Trader Joe’s store!

Trader Joe’s is close to signing a new lease for a store at the base of 670 Columbus Avenue between 92nd and 93rd street, The Real Deal reported today.

“The popular California-based grocery chain would occupy about 20,000 square feet across the ground floor and lower level,” the website reported, citing unnamed sources. Neither Trader Joe’s nor the retail landlord commented to the Real Deal. “A lease is expected to be signed in the next few weeks, sources said.”

(In case you’re new to the neighborhood, there’s already a Trader Joe’s on 72nd and Broadway with lines literally out the door.)

We reported on rumors of a Trader Joe’s coming to that space in a few years ago, but figured it was idle speculation. Well, it sounds like it’s getting a lot closer now…

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 76 comments | permalink
    1. Michelle says:

      OH my goodness! This just made my week! Fingers are crossed that this pulls through!

    2. WombatNYC says:

      Would be an excellent location for TJ’s

    3. Matt says:

      The 72nd St location is my mecca for groceries so I selfishly hope this will alleviate the long lines here.

    4. anonymous says:

      YAY!!!!

    5. steve in manhattan says:

      Went to the new Trader Joe’s at 72nd and Broadway … twice. Came out with nothing. I will never cheat on Fairway again. Best grocery store in the city.

    6. Paris Wyome says:

      OH Good. Maybe less time waiting at TJ 72 St. and more time doing much more important things. The 72 St. just increased checkouts from 29 to 31. Not much effect on wait time though.

      Currently it is the highest grossing TJ store in the U.S. That’s what a 72 St. TJ store mgr. told me recently. I recall that she also said it has more checkouts than any other TJ store, but they are crammed into a very tiny space.

      Now it will be battling the nearby Whole Foods instead of Fairway (which is having big debt problems) and other food retailers in the west 70s.

    7. Lavern Shirley says:

      I don’t get it.

    8. carol says:

      YEA! Hope these rumors are true

    9. anon says:

      @Lavern Shirley,
      You don’t get what? A new store is opening.

    10. Fay Barrows says:

      Most exciting news

    11. JCH says:

      I don’t think it will hurt the Whole Foods as much as it will hurt the D’Agostino’s on 91st.

    12. anon says:

      @steve – so you went twice to a new store about 5 years ago and didn’t buy anything? Okay. lol.

    13. Sue L says:

      That should take care of D’Agostino’s, I hope!
      Now, if only Morton-Williams’d take over the former Food Emporium space on B’way & 90th…!

    14. cathy uws 100th St, says:

      Great! Hope it happens this time and asap. Long overdue.

    15. Max G says:

      I live around the corner … Please let this be real

    16. Steven says:

      YES!!!!!

    17. David Morris says:

      And which stores are no longer there????

    18. David Morris says:

      I’m with you, Steve.

    19. sputnik says:

      Fabulous! And if the new TJ’s could be better designed than the hopelessly cramped, awkward, split-level store on 72nd, even better!

    20. Kate says:

      Fingers crossed. Because the 72nd St. lines are ridiculous.

    21. Marissa says:

      After the closing of the Food Emporium we need an affordable market up in the 90s. I hope it’s true!

    22. guy_on_the_corner says:

      This would be great for the folks in the projects and Park West Village.

    23. JCH says:

      @ David Morris
      It was new construction David. The space has been empty for over a year.

    24. Otto says:

      Please be true. Please be true. Please be true.

    25. Bob Neuman says:

      I’m already on line.

    26. Erica says:

      Do you by chance know what’s going in at 90th and Broadway where the old Food Emporium was? Had my fingers crossed for TJs! It’s really tough for elderly and people who don’t have access to good internet not to have a good grocery story close by.

    27. TJ devotee says:

      Yeeeessss!!!!

    28. Sarah says:

      LOL Bob Neumann

    29. Angie106 says:

      Supposedly a gym..

    30. Beth says:

      I just don’t get the TJ thing.

      With all the packaging used on fruits and veggies, and meats too, so much junk food, prices not great, the claustrobic design, and the long lines, the best thing about TJ is that the lines at Fairway are shorter.

      What am I missing?

    31. Michael Stark says:

      there must be a god…….

    32. Stephanie says:

      Relief, at last! I hope the deal goes through.

    33. gbNYC says:

      Please let it be true! Finally something useful opening.

    34. Stephanie says:

      Yes, me too. Then I could buy my pop corn before going to the movies!

    35. Anon says:

      @Beth,
      The prices on many of my staples are much better than elsewhere. Milk, butter, eggs, cheese, nuts and nut butters are some. I agree with you about the repackaging of some produce. You can’t get everything at TJs but I think most NYers regularly go to several different stores.

    36. anon says:

      @Beth ditto to this. I buy grass-fed beef for cheaper than elsewhere and wild, frozen fish for less. About 95% of the food we buy is TJ and we very rarely eat sugar or grains (though if we did, TJ has some amazingggg sweet treats!)

    37. L. Helfer says:

      Totally thrilled, and happy that I called them a few months ago and suggested that location.

    38. Crotchey Old Man says:

      I like to support local stores versus corporate chain monstrosities. And TJs is corporate. Where did all my neighbors go who used to think this way too? I like how everyone’s ideals go out the window to save a buck. We used to call people like that sell outs but guess that doesn’t acknowledge the context of their social construct and self actualization so isn’t apprpriately sensitive.

    39. aged says:

      It’s a new construction on the street level there.

    40. Rochelle Fischer says:

      Looking foreword to 32 street opening. I have been a devoted customer who travels from 46 street and 2nd avenue to 14 street.

      Thank you for being in NY

      Rochelle Fischet
      Fischershelly@hotmail.com

    41. Scott says:

      I’d prefer a Wegmans. But TJ’s is ok. In another 10 years maybe we can finally crawl out from the dirty, cramped, expensive, unionized grocery stores that New Yorkers have come to accept as the rule here.

    42. Loretta says:

      Its going to be just as crowded and unpleasant to shop in as the one on 72nd St. Happy for those that are happy about it, but I’m not willing to deal with the crowds for not so spectacular items.

    43. Evan says:

      Probably a year away, but this is great news. I don’t get why people don’t like TJ. Produce is their biggest downfall, but for frozen meals, basic staples (pasta, sauces, cereal, grains — which are really just name brands renamed), it hardly gets any cheaper. The company, compared to most, is always considered fair with their workers fairly and give them a living wage.

      I still frequent Mani Market place, but this takes is awesome

    44. Paul RL says:

      L. Helfer, can you call Alamo Brewhouse and re-suggest the Metro Theater?

    45. Mary says:

      YAY!!!! AT LONG LAST!!!

    46. SG says:

      Excellent!!! I also shop and Whole Foods and other markets, but I have Trader Joe’s staples. I am beyond ecstatic about this news.

    47. UWS-er says:

      You said it, @Crotchey Old Man. If only it would remain empty storefront forever!

    48. uws_er says:

      I guess this is a good thing. But in this neighborhood we have a lot of very good, affordable stores. If TJ’s causes Mani Marketplace and the natural foods store on 94th to go under, I am going to lose it!!!

    49. Joe says:

      [I haven’t been here in a while West Sider, but it seems the nesting replies still don’t work.]

      This is for Evan and other who complained about TJ’s produce.

      Yes, fresh produce is probably their weakest category. You have to choose carefully. It depends on the season and what they can get. Last few visits, I’ve been picking up celery hearts which are nicer and cheaper than other stores.

      Locally sourced produce is usually best. During summer, the “regional” cukes are great. Come early Winter, look for Brussels sprouts on the stalk; fresher and much cheaper than elsewhere.

      I personally don’t like the piece pricing on fruits and other loose items, but sometimes — like when Fuji apples are over $1.40/lb in other stores — 69 cents each at TJ is better.

    50. Joe says:

      This is for all those who complained about the long lines at TJ’s 72nd, including West Sider who seems to be implying in his intro that lines there are “literally out the door.”

      Yes, this store can be quite crowded and sometimes, indeed, there is a line of shoppers outside waiting to get in. Not too often though. Think of the day(s) before a major storm when hordes of New Yorkers panic about not having enough kale on hand.

      When TJ management picked this location (probably more for the logistics of getting deliveries than any other consideration), they probably didn’t anticipate the popularity.

      I don’t want to put too much of a damper on the hopes of many who posted their wishes that another TJ’s on the UWS will relieve the crowding at 72nd… but I honestly believe they could open THREE more stores on the UWS and each would be equally crowded as most food shoppers with common sense realize what the TJ’s experience is all about!

      — to be continued

    51. Joe says:

      This for all those who keep hoping that a TJ’s will open along Broadway; the vacant store once occupied by the worthless Food Emporium is often mentioned.

      I’ll repeat what I said here a number times last year when this subject came up:

      Do not place any bets on an upper Broadway TJ’s!

      Main reason: the logistics. Getting massive amounts of food delivered and inside the store 7 days a week.

      Ever see one of those 18-wheelers unloading at TJ’s? Even the trucks have the word logistics” painted on it.

      The 72nd Street TJ’s receives at least four, sometimes five of these deliveries EACH AND EVERY DAY! They pull up alongside the curb on 72nd and several TJ’s crew members come out with forklifts to unload palette after palette piled high with food. It all gets moved into the loading dock, then down the freight elevator to the storage rooms and coolers and soon out to the shelves.

      If you’ve ever watched this unloading “ballet,” you may have noticed that the bus stop (M5, M72 and M57) which used to be right at the corn er of 72nd and Broadway got moved back by the MTA about 75 feet to accommodate the 18-wheelers.

      When the trucks can pull right up to the curb, there’s minimal impact on crosstown traffic.

      Now think about seeing these deliveries at potential TJ’s on upper Broadway. Virtually impossible. Broadway is divided by the mall into two relatively narrow streets. These days, when you see a huge truck unloading even a small delivery along Broadway, it usually causes a big traffic headache.

      Some years back when, when those disgraceful Ariel buildings were foisted on my immediate neighborhood (99-100th/B’way), I hoped so much that TJ’s would take the huge retail space in the building on the West side of Broadway. But how would they get deliveries? There’s a bus stop there. No direct door to the retail space along the side streets, and if anyone can tell me how one of these monster trucks could unload anything on a side street, I’d like to hear it. (I was also told that the condo owners in Ariel West simply did not want a food store — after sitting empty for a few years, an Urban Outfitters took 2/3 the space, the other third occupied until a few months ago by seasonal stores and then for a year or two by a Sleepys.)

      I’m assuming that multiple 18-wheeler deliveries along Columbus at 93rd will work out. If they keep that new location well-stocked, I’ll be glad. I can walk there from my place.

    52. Scott says:

      Joe, I also live near the Ariel. I think the reason we can’t get a TJ’s or some other cool grocery store is because of the Douglass projects. Shrinkage for grocers and drug stores around here is out of this world. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    53. Amy says:

      The “condo owners” can’t say what goes in the retail spaces in those buildings. They don’t own those retail spaces. They’re owned by third parties.

    54. NYWoman says:

      You are right – I’m guessing they know they’ll get the students up there as well as the rest of us Trader Joe lovers –

    55. MJ says:

      Thank goodness! This is so necessary! This will alleviate some of the pressure on the 72nd st store and bring affordable groceries closer to those uptown. Great news!

    56. Mocha says:

      Speaking of groceries, Zabar’s raised there coffee to $10 a pound? Isn’t that like the third increase in three years. Bean prices are down 30% in the last year. What gives?

    57. eric says:

      wish they’d open pronto!

    58. Cato says:

      #55 Mocha asked: “Zabar’s raised their coffee to $10 a pound? Isn’t that like the third increase in three years. Bean prices are down 30% in the last year. What gives?”

      Simple, really. Zabars was no doubt concerned that all of our new, rich neighbors would think the product couldn’t be much good if it was reasonably priced. So they raised the price to convince the excessively wealthy that they had the best product.

      After all, what good is having more money than anyone needs if you can’t spend it on things the hoi polloi can’t afford??

    59. jlj says:

      Number 3- TJ is not opening at 92nd to “alleviate” lines at 72nd. In fact same store sales reports suggesting that, may indicate new store is leeching sales from 72nd which would slow revs for both and indicate a failure of their store location strategy. Ideally they will want lines out of both.

    60. Judy says:

      Hurrah!!! Now I can walk there with my shopping cart.

    61. Cyrus says:

      @JCH Anything that hurts that awful Dag’s is fine with me. What a mess.

    62. Liz says:

      Going to give Whole Foods, i.e., Whole Paycheck a run for its money. Good.

    63. Alan Cook says:

      Growing up in South Pasadena CA I am familiar with Trader Joes. It is handy, the help is friendly, I love their ice cream and lots more.

    64. Sean says:

      We couldn’t just get a simple Bohack’s? Such a fuss.

    65. ls says:

      While there is discussion about the prospect of a new Trader Joe’s on the West Side, there were protests in Chelsea as the Associated Supermarket (14th Street between 7th and 8th) will be closing due to a 500%+ rent increase from its landlord, Pan Am Equities.

      One of several comments on the website Jeremiah’s Vanishing NY:

      “This is such an important, city-wide issue, whether it’s East Harlem, Chelsea, or Gowanus. Property values, and the influx of wealthier residents with very different spending habits – “destination” grocery stores & Fresh Direct home delivery – are wreaking havoc on the vital needs of regular residents….The loss of supermarkets hits poorer & elderly New Yorkers the hardest, but it affects all of us. Even in today’s toney Park Slope, a large Key Food on Fifth serves a diverse range of residents, some of whom travel a good distance to shop there. The developer who plans to raze it for apartment rentals & high-end retail offers a tiny superette as a sop to the locals.
      The lack of affordable supermarkets is also creating even more of a social divide in the city. I like the city microcosm feel of a Key Food or C-Town, but a Union Market or Gowanus Whole Foods is Brooklyn Stepfordesque. And as for those Fresh Direct trucks that idle on the block every night …”

    66. UWSider since 1974 says:

      While I want a TJ’s I also want Mani and Mila to do well. They are small local stores that provide good value and make the UWS what it is. TJs is just another corporate battleship. Doesn’t mean I don’t like the value, or shopping there. I just don’t want to see NYC become anywhere USA.

    67. People are strange says:

      Trader Joe’s is owned by billionaires who fought for Nazi Germany. Made their money selling food cheaper than others (Aldi anyone?). So you protest Walmart and income inequality during the day, but can’t wait to shop TJ at night, further enriching the 21st and 31st richest persons in the world while running your local grocer out of business? Got it.
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_Albrecht
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Albrecht

      • anon says:

        @People are strange, what local grocers might be forced out because of this? I live near the 72nd St TJs and shop there because I need groceries. I have no political agenda. Just need food.

    68. meatballswife says:

      Happy Happy Dance!

    69. People are strange says:

      @anon #66: Mani Market, Sing Sing, Newday Market, Barzini, Gary Null. I am sure there are others like those in your neighborhood. Glad you don’t have a political agenda but many do and wear it on their sleeves (but only when it doesn’t disrupt their life like shopping at TJ).

    70. S. Louie says:

      That’s what happens when you have free market competition…for the consumer!!!

      UWS has been starved for affordable food..AND housing!!!!! This is why there are lines OUT THE DOOR for Trader Joes!!!

      Fairway and Westsider market both need to get on the bandwagon of TURNING FOOD OVER instead of letting it sit and rot at high prices on shelves!!!!

    71. People are strange says:

      @ S. Louie – I am all for free market competition to provide consumers with various choices. I object to consumers who do not fully educate themselves about what they buy, the implications of their choices beyond what they personally see or whose choices are (to their own expressed logic/preferences) inconsistent. Yet then try to tell others to make different choices because they know better (which they clearly demonstrate they don’t!).

    72. 92nd street says:

      This is not surprising. It was supposed to happen a couple of years ago, but the LL leased part of the space to Party City in order to pressure Trader Joe’s and it in fact caused Trader’s to pull out from the deal. After the space sitting empty for much too long for any property, they must have offered much better terms.
      Great news for 92nd Street, bad news for Mani’s and Dag, but that is the way gentrification goes. Hopefully the LL that owns the Dag space is bright enough to source some quality tenants that will take advantage of a major family neighborhood. It would be great to see Eric Keyser, H&H Bagel, or Doughnut Plant make their way to the true UWS.

    73. Bobo says:

      @uws_er , you’re too late for the natural food store you claim to value so much. It has been the new location of Sing Sing market for months.

    74. Marissa says:

      i kept telling people that trader joes was going in there in the hopes that i could will it to happen! greatest news ever!!!