columbus retail

Trader Joe’s, which had been negotiating a lease at 93rd street and Columbus Avenue, has signed on the dotted line, Gothamist reports. The new location will open “before next summer,” the website reports.

“The store will be approximately 12,100 square feet, and will be located in the base of a 30-story condominium tower at 670 Columbus Avenue,” according to Gothamist.

While many Upper West Siders have been rejoicing at the prospect of a second Trader Joe’s, we’ve also heard some grumbles — in particular, some locals are worried about the impact the opening could have on local grocery spots like Mani Market on Columbus between 93rd and 94th.

It’s been tough for supermarkets of late in the lower 90’s.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 54 comments | permalink
    1. keith says:

      Cannot happen soon enough.

      Either can the transformation of the old key foods space into a belgian restaurant.

      As far as the smaller bodega/food markets are concerned they simply need to offer a product. My suggestion is that Mani focus on its farmers marketlike produce offerings, something trader Joe’s will never be able to compete with.

    2. Doug Garr says:

      This is good news. I hope Trader Joe’s will put Fairway out of business. I cannot stand how Fairway’s flagship store has gone down — higher prices, more surly help.

      • Bob Lamm says:

        What a lovely world: hoping that a store will go out of business! (Rather than simply not shopping at a store you don’t like.) Imagine that the flagship Fairway goes out of business. Workers lose their jobs. People with limited mobility who live close to the store can’t shop there any more. People who live further away but love the store can’t shop there any more. But Mr. Garr will be happy! What else matters?

      • D’Agostino’s, a few blocks south, is not doing so well either.

    3. Meg G says:

      I have lived in the neighborhood for over 20 years and have shopped at the wonderful Mani Market for that long. Whole Foods did not run Mani out if business and neither will Trader Joe’s. Sometimes one prefers not to deal with the long lines at WW and it will be the same with TJ. Also Mani sells fresh and often local produce which is not really why one shops at TJ. They also carry common grocery items that neither WW nor TJ carries. Since we lost Food City a few years ago I have picked up some of these items at Mani.

    4. Mormuse says:

      What a shame that the city will not protect the survival of a neighborhood grocery (Mani’s) from the big box stores.

    5. Paul says:

      The Mani Bros. have become wealthy suburbanites by soaking the bleeding hearts and blocking competition for years. Don’t bother shedding a tear for them.

      • Gershon says:

        What are you talking about? Who cares where they live and how much they make. They work tirelessly, are at the store all day every single day, and do so with a smile and warmth that no one can compete with. Kudos to them for owning and successfully operating a small business for 25 years in an age dominated by big business. I love Mani’s and I love TJs. I shop at both today and will continue to do so into the future.

    6. ToddNYC says:

      Woo hoo! (not so much the lines that will ensue…)

    7. Paris Wyome says:

      At last. Maybe there will fewer long lines at W 72 St. TJ when the new place opens. And I then may shop there more often. If I see lines now beyond the apples/oranges cases from the street level entrance, I never shop at TJ.

    8. Vivian says:

      I am ecstatic – can’t wait for the opening of TJ. My daughter is a chef and she often goes there to find vegetables she cannot find in other places. The local markets are robbing us blind, they are few and in-between and take advantage of us. I definitely cried when they closed the Associated where Duane Reade is now, and then when Food City was also closed. Not all of us can afford D’Agostinos, at least those of us without food coupons!

      • dannyboy says:

        Associated on 97 & Amsterdam offers me the most polite service. Also, the staff at Mani Market are very friendly (in addition to having great olive oil value).

        Not much for TJ, but it is each to their own.

    9. Susan says:

      Looking forward to having a TJs right in the area — but not so much to the enormous crowds that will inevitably ensue. Hopefully the novelty will wear off eventually and things will calm down. It will be nice to be able to go just across the street to shop there, though! 🙂

    10. Justin G says:

      Will it really take a year for them to open?

    11. chris says:

      No Place, however close, can replace our beloved Mani Market!!!!!!!!!!!!

    12. izzy says:

      I am so happy I could burst.

    13. 24gotham says:

      The new location will hopefully alleivate the crowds at 72nd st location (which is much easier to get to by subway than the new location).

      Too bad they couldn’t have signed a lease for the former Dag’s at 110th ant B’way. There is a subway stop outside the front door.

      • This new TJ location is primarily geared towards local residents east of Amsterdam Avenue. Not close to train stations, many non locals will also take cabs or drive as they do at Whole Foods. Delivery of goods is probably going to be one of the services provided.

    14. pjrod says:

      TJ is the most overrated grocery chain in the country. My opinion of course. I don’t get it.

    15. Wade R. Goria says:

      Mani Market is a truly wonderful store run by exceedingly warm, friendly, amazingly organized and uniquely competent owners who will continue to offer a great many beloved products with which Trader Joe’s will simply be unable to compete. There is room in the neighborhood for both stores!

    16. Barbara says:

      I love Trader Joe’s but also love Mani Mart.

    17. In recent years, developers have added significant amounts of retail space on Columbus Avenue. Central Park West and Columbus Avenue north of 100th streets are commercial dead zones. There still is a great need for additional retail and commercial space to serve the residents of the area.

      12000SF is not a large supermarket, Whole Foods at 97th street has almost five times as much square footage. Peapod and Fresh Direct have filled the need for the lack of supermarkets in the area. People need to eat and big business understands this. We will probably see more to come in the near future.

      • dannyboy says:

        The consolidation in food distribution will become problematic sometime after this glow of bigger, bigger, bigger wears off.

    18. Sean says:

      The days of picking up a pork chop for dinner are over. The young use

      • dannyboy says:

        I pick up pork chops at Shnatzie Prime Meats. Keep it our secret.

      • Cato says:

        Sorry, but everyone in the neighborhood is not “young”. And we ain’t going away quickly, either.

    19. richard says:

      open before next summer meaning summer 2016 or 2017??

    20. MS J LAWRENCE says:

      CAN’T WAIT ……

    21. Kelly Iacovacci says:

      very excited here. I live in the West 90’s. Whole Foods is great and so is Mani’s. Each have their own appeal. TJ is just another great addition to the neighborhood.

    22. MG says:

      Mani market will actually benefit from this. bear with me.

      No one does a weekly shop in Mani Market. At present people get a basketful of goods, coffee, some fresh produce. Many of those shoppers at present also get many of those items from Whole foods if they happen to be going there (Mani currently loses)

      As people switch to TJs they will no longer get any basics (or anything at all) from Whole Foods. But things they cant get – they will go to the close-by Manis.

      As long as Mani Market is smart and offers complimentary products, not competing products to TJs I think they will actually benefit from the switch away from Whole Foods. Discuss!

      • John says:

        You are assuming that most people that shop at WF will prefer TJ, which is definitely not true. I would guess no more than 40% of shoppers are like that, at the very most. WF still offers a lot of healthier options that TJ, and a lot of shoppers of WF don’t seems to mind paying higher prices for that. WF will also have to compete with TJ so between those two we will have most things we need, which is how smaller local grocery shops are hurt in the long run, especially given the price/quantity competitions of the big chains. Like you said, Mani and others need to really offer something we can’t get at WF or TJ, but it will be hard or expensive.

      • dannyboy says:


        Bagels are the hook for me.

    23. fern wishman says:

      Thank goodness! We live close to the TJ’s on 72nd st & arrange our lives around when it will be the least crowded. Our friends from out if the area find it incredulous that the store is so mobbed! Maybe the new location will relieve some of the craziness.

      We actually need a few more. We LOVE Trader Joe’s!

    24. Denise says:

      Although I like Mani’s, the store doesn’t have the selection (except the produce, which TJ doesn’t have). I’d hate to see them in financial straits, however, there are enough of us on the UWS to shop and make selections at both places.

    25. carol mills says:

      I am glad Trader Joes is coming and Mani should worry I think they are very nasty to there customers and should be a little more concerned about people. I don’t like people losing there business but be a little more concerned about your customers. Don’t want Fairways to go out of business they have plenty of items that Trader Joes does not carry. All in all you are lucky to have a choice to shop where you want.

    26. James Ryan says:

      Small question, grocery store related: Anyone know what’s going to become of the old Food City location? Heard nothing serious about its fate for almost a year now, and wanted to know if there’s any indication what’s going to happen there now.

      • Woody says:

        I predict there will be at least ten references to Duane Reade, Citibank, Chase, and CVS when the kvetches chime in about that location.

    27. ml says:

      Probably means the end of D’Agastino’s on Columbus given the cost of real estate. Will be hard for some of the elderly, especially those living in the Goddard Riverside senior residence, to get to TJ and to manage the TJ crowds. Sorry to see so many food stores closing over the past few years. Looks like it is going to be only TJ and Whole Foods plus Fresh Direct delivery. Ironic that on the West Side, fewer and fewer options and less and less ability to walk to nearby food stores.

    28. RedRaleigh says:

      I shop TJ/72nd every other Sunday and have never found the long lines a problem. They move very fast and I’m in and out in no time. I look forward to shopping at the new store.

    29. Mary says:

      SO HAPPY to have TJs closer!!! About time that we got a good alternative in the neighborhood.

    30. RangersFan says:

      The Gothamist article never stated that a lease was signed. Gothamist relied on the Real Deal article from March 2015 that mentions lease negotiations. Gothamist never contacted either party for comment. I walked by the proposed retail space today on Columbus & 93rd St, there are still signs up that state the space is available for rent. There have never been any signs at that site to indicate a TJ’s was coming. Two weeks ago I was at the TJ on 72nd street and asked a few employees about it and was told “the deal fell through because the people leasing the space want something more upscale”. However, another employee told me they are still negotiating for the space and it can take up to 2 years before any store opened if the lease is signed. I filled out the TJ’s online form and asked them to confirm the rumor and they never responded. I would love to have a TJ here. I miss C-town and Food City. I’m not crazy about Whole Foods. Maybe WestSideRag can contact TJ’s? you might have luck in getting a response.