Politicians Push for New Supermarket on Vacant Broadway Corner

Politicians are asking a local landlord to rent a vacant storefront on 68th Street and Broadway to a new supermarket-operator, because some locals say that grocery options are too limited in the area.

The corner spot was once the home of Food Emporium. But when that store closed in 2013, it was replaced by a Lowe’s home improvement store. Lowe’s lasted until last November.

Upper West Siders have lamented Food Emporium’s closure because they say it left a void in the neighborhood. There are few large traditional-style supermarkets in that area, they say.

Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal has been trying to build support for a new supermarket for several weeks, working with the landlord and setting up a petition meant to “show the owners of 2008 Broadway that there is broad community support for a supermarket in that space!”

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer weighed in last week, sending a letter to the landlord, Jamestown Properties. She wrote that the site had had a supermarket for more than 50 years. “With this in mind, I strongly encourage you to select a grocery store or supermarket as your commercial tenant.” Read the full letter here.

Jamestown Properties did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 110 comments | permalink
    1. West88 says:

      I used to live on 65th btwn CPW and Columbus and understand that walking only a couple block for food is better, than say, 4 block north to Trader Joes, 6 blocks north to Fairway, or 9 blocks south to Whole Foods is annoying. But COME ON!!! Within less than ten blocks you have some of the best grocery stores around. Any grocer that lands in that space would have to compete for those dollars which is highly unlikely. Oh, and let’s not forget about the Gourmet Garage on 66th St.

      • born&bred says:

        It’s not just the distance but the population. That’s
        a lot of people shopping in the same stores.

      • JerryV says:

        West88, Walking 6 or 9 blocks may be fine for you but there are many elderly and incapacitated people in this relatively hilly neighborhood for whom it is impossible to walk back and forth such a distance. Plus Fairway and Trader Joes are filled to capacity almost any hour of the day. The new high rise going up at 69th St. and Amsterdam will bring even more crowding to this neighborhood. As Yogi Berra said in another context, they are so crowded that no one goes there anymore. And what do you propose would be better for this space? Another nail salon? Another pet supply store?

    2. Ponald Pump says:

      Half of all broadway corners are vacant.

    3. Marc Mercado says:

      Is there enough “community support” to make a supermarket profitable?

      • LEE APT says:


        • NJfeds says:

          I wrote to Morton Williams and they actually wrote back that they cannot afford Broadway rents! The real desert is in the 80s on Broadway. It is criminal

          • Beth says:

            A new community advocacy group, UWS Save Our Stores, has organized in the last 2 months with the goal to make sure the problem of retail blight gets attention at the City Council and STATE level, to support legislative initiatives, and to come up with ways to revitalize the UWS. BTW, while the entire city suffers, according to Community Board 7, commercial rents have gone down everywhere in the city except for the Broadway corridor from 71st-86th, and 125th Street. The Broaddway/86th corner, in particular,lost a supermarket as well as 3 large chain stores–it’s become a wasteland. Join us Facebook @uwssaveourstores or mail uwssos@gmail.com if you want to follow our news or volunteer.

      • Sean says:

        Nope. There was a Food Emporium on the next block below Fairway. It was always empty. In this case, the residents of Lincoln Towers want their own market. Who knows maybe Fairway will be less frustrating.

        • Brandon says:

          Why would this store in 68th and Broadway have anything to do with Lincoln Towers? They are closer to Trader Joe’s and !any of them to Jubilee than they would be to this store.

    4. Sherman says:

      Again, Brewer and Rosenthal are trying to gain publicity and popularity with nonsensical gestures.

      Yes, it would be nice to have a supermarket in this spot. I personally miss Food Emporium.

      But this is not the decision of the residents of the UWS nor is it even the decision of Jamestown Properties.

      It is the decision of any supermarket that believes it will be profitable to operate out of this location.

      I’m sure Jamestown would like to fill this space with any viable business as they have been losing money since Lowe’s moved out (and no, there’s no secret tax break that makes empty space profitable to Jamestown).

      However, there is fierce supermarket competition in the area from TJ’s, Whole Foods and Fairway. Not too many supermarkets will want this space, even if they can get a sweetheart deal on rent.

      There’s a reason Food Emporium went out of business. These silly letters and petitions from Brewer and Rosenthal are less than worthless.

      They should try to do something productive for their constituents.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        this is one of the most arrogant, out of touch postings Sherman has ever made.

        if there is no affordable supermarket in the neighborhood, it’s an upper class food dessert.

        most of the constituents, except the very rich ones who eat out all the time, would need a supermarket.

        Brewer and Rosenthal have every right to pressure the landlord to put a supermarket there; in fact, that sort of pressure might very well be effective.

        Sherman always looks out for the landlords. i wonder why? thank heavens Brewer is looking out for her constituents.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          “It is an upper class food dessert”

          One of the funniest lines I’ve read in a while!

          You mean to tell me at fancy restaurants I can order a coffee and a supermarket when I’m done with my main course?


        • West88 says:

          Bruce: “if there is no affordable supermarket in the neighborhood, it’s an upper class food dessert.”

          Trader Joe’s is one of the most affordable grocery stores in NYC. It is not “upper class” – milk and eggs alone are cheaper than most you can find ($1.99). Please use facts – not conjecture – when making your point.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            as pointed out by many many other commenters, Trader Joe’s is not easily accessible form there for seniors, disabled, and others.

            • Leon says:

              Yes, Trader Joe’s gets very crowded at peak times but it does have elevators so I’m not sure why it is considered inaccessible. If you go off peak it is pretty easy to get around. And the staff tends to be very helpful.

              It seems like everyone wants things exactly the way they want it, end of story. I’m sorry things on the UWS aren’t how they were 30 years ago. There are certain aspects of how things were that I also long for. But life moves on and you have to adapt. I wish my worst problem was having to shop at Trader Joe’s…

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Liberal Leon, I’m glad you’re happy and have no problems with food accessibility. But being a prominent spokesperson for liberalism, I’m sure you also always think of the needs of others who are less mobile.

              You might want to read Gale Brewer’s excellent letter, which highlights the hardship for “senior citizens, those with disabilities, families with small children and frequent food needs, and those who struggle to walk long distances and absorb delivery charges they cannot afford.”


              Traders Joes is simply not as accessible to the many seniors in Lincoln Towers.

              thank you for considering them, Liberal Leon.

            • Leon says:

              Wow – the political world has truly come full circle – extreme leftist, out of touch Bruce Bernstein takes one out of Trump’s playbook. “Liberal Leon” – that is really clever and classy. I bet Crooked Hillary (who I voted for, despite your arguments that I am a closet Republican) and Lyin Ted are jealous of my superior name.

              Based on the response to this thread, I am clearly not the only one who feels this way. Yes, it would be nice if a supermarket went into that space. But the politicians cannot force businesses to behave in a certain way. And there are plenty of alternatives available that, though not ideal, will be sufficient if people can get past their “I wish NY was exactly how it was when I was in my prime” attitude.

              And, if they want to be truly helpful, how about working in some of the real food deserts in this city. Even with the loss of stores, the UWS is a mecca of food compared to some other areas in Harlem and other boroughs. I think the residents of those neighborhoods would appreciate the help also and that would be a far better use of their time.

              Hugs and kisses,

              Liberal Leon

          • Jay says:

            Conjecture, ad hominem attacks and anecdotes are all some have the ability to contribute.

        • Jen says:

          I’m also normally annoyed with Sherman posts defending landlords despite anything. But this post is not exactly about defending landlords, he correctly points that it is up to a supermarket chain to decide where to open a location. Rent is only one of the considerations. He didn’t sound arrogant either, and didn’t say directly or implied in any way that some of our neighbors don’t need a supermarket because they can afford to eat out. Had he said that we don’t need a supermarket because we can always eat out, it would have been a different matter.
          Let’s not put words in each other’s mouths and be fair to the commentators with whom we normally disagree. We have plenty of this going in this forum.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            sorry, Jen, but the following statements by Sherman were arrogant and out of touch:

            “Again, Brewer and Rosenthal are trying to gain publicity and popularity with nonsensical gestures.”

            “These silly letters and petitions from Brewer and Rosenthal are less than worthless.”

            “They should try to do something productive for their constituents.”

            these were deeply offensive statements.

            • Juan says:

              I usually tend to disagree with Sherman but in this case I agree with him and I wish you would stop being so sensitive. “Deeply offensive?” Deeply offensive is the rhetoric coming from Trump and his buddies. This is far from “deeply offensive.”

              I happen to agree with Sherman that there are a lot bigger problems in this city to be dealt with than this. Rather than trying to solve problems building by building and store by store, they need to look at the big picture. I agree that there are too many empty storefronts in the neighborhood and buildings are getting to tall. So change the citywide law to limit building heights and create disincentives for owners to leave stores empty too long. Saying that this one specific location should be a supermarket is really not their job.

            • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

              Juan, I’m glad you are the policeman for what is “deeply offensive.” and I’ve never seen you disagree with Sherman. You seem to prefer to spend your time lecturing me to “stop being so sensitive” and lecturing everyone about how NYC leftists are too “crazy”. And boasting about how you would be considered a leftist outside of Manhattan. How many times have you said I should “step outside of Manhattan”, without knowing anything about me?

              The statements were offensive because they were derogatory to my friend Gale Brewer and to Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who, despite your lecture, WERE doing their job. He called them silly, useless, and any number of other names. That qualifies as offensive, whether or not it offended YOU.

              Apparently the lack of a supermarket in that area isn’t a problem for YOU. But it IS a problem for thousands of senior citizens in the area, and probably hundreds of disabled. trying to use THEIR public offices to solve that problem, whether the problem is big or small, is precisely their job. Not understanding this means you don’t understand local public office nor city government.

              They get involved with issues much more local than this… such as landlord harassment of individual tenants.

              What is the problem, anyhow, with trying to get a supermarket in the neighborhood? How could anyone OPPOSE this? That is what strikes me as ridiculous.

              Juan said:

              “Rather than trying to solve problems building by building and store by store, they need to look at the big picture.”

              Seriously, Juan, you don’t think Gale Brewer looks at “the big picture”? If you want to learn more about “the big picture”, I suggest you attend the meeting of Community Free Democrats on March 28, Thursday, 7:30 PM. Gale Brewer will be giving an “in-depth presentation” on “Our Abandoned Mom and Pop Storefronts.” Goddard-Riverside, 593 Columbus Avenue.

      • Juan says:

        It pains me to say it but I agree. It is very simple supply and demand. If a supermarket company thought there was such a huge amount of demand for a supermarket in the neighborhood, they would build one. I’m sure the major chains have looked into it but it just doesn’t makes sense for them.

        The government can create incentives to make it more profitable for a a supermarket company to locate in this spot. This is similar to what was done to get Amazon to NYC, which everyone was complaining about. One can argue whether this is the best use of the government’s time and resources.

        In the interim, I’m not sure why all of these people who complain about not having easily accessible groceries don’t join the rest of us and use Fresh Direct. It saves a lot of time and aggravation and their prices are pretty reasonable. I’m sorry you won’t get the tremendous pleasure of spending 5 minutes picking out the perfect tomato, but such is life.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          there is a “Market failure” on retail-commercial real estate on the UWS.

          if “supply and demand” was working correctly, retail rents would be coming down drastically, due to all the vacnt properties.

          Supply and Demand 101.

        • West Ender says:

          Re: Fresh Direct – not everyone wants or can afford to order their minimum just to get groceries. Not to mention paying extra for delivery and a tip. Not everyone has a doorman to accept the delivery. People ordering from Fresh Direct, Amazon, Peapod are the reason grocery stores close.

          I’m fortunate that I live near 96th and have Westside, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s but I’ve lived in the 60s and 80s and agree that both areas need a more traditional supermarket like Food Emporium used to provide.

          • Juan says:

            You are proving my point. If you are ordering below the Fresh Direct minimum of $30, you are not buying a lot of groceries and really don’t need the large grocery store that everyone seems to be demanding. And with those small purchases you are not going to keep one of those stores in business.

            Also, Fresh Direct offers two hour delivery windows about 16 hours a day, seven days a week. You don’t need a doorman, and if you can’t commit to being home for two hours during one of those windows, then you also clearly don’t have time to be browsing the aisles of a mega super market. Everyone seems to be so concerned about senior citizens – having groceries delivered to their door seems to be a lot easier for them than having to push them home in a cart (or paying the grocery store to deliver them).

            Again, people want things exactly the way they want them and are unwilling to adapt. Charles Darwin had a theory…

      • Clyde Frazier says:

        Sherman I don’t know why you bother. These politicians are indeed wasting their time. Earth to the Upper West Side: the landlord will rent the space to whatever business pays the highest rent. If that’s a supermarket, great. If not – we’ll all have to either walk a few blocks or – oh the horror – order food online from Fresh Direct.

      • Matt W says:

        As an UWS resident, this is not a particularly encouraging thing to see our elected officials engaging in. While undoubtedly there are property owners pushing out long-standing tenants in search of higher profits (RIP Harriet’s), retail blight in this city is a systemic issue that goes beyond the greed of a few property owners. How about instead of a petition to a private business (?), create a program that subsidizes worthy non-profits to buy/lease underutilized retail condos?

    5. DINAH DAY says:



    6. Lin says:

      I hope they bring a supermarket to this site. My neighbors would all love it. It is s long walk especially for seniors and people with disabilities, to the few markets within range especially iwhen the weather is very cold or very hot. It is true about so many vacant storefronts. We are losing our neighborhood. Hopefully, they will succeed in convincing one of the food chains to open up
      at this site.

    7. Miranda says:

      Please!!! Supermarket . Sick of Fairways craziness and rotten fish and meat. Ditto Amazon Fresh.

    8. Andrew says:

      I live on 70th and Broadway and would whole heartedly welcome a supermarket there. I don’t always want to deal with Trader Joe’s, and Gourmet Garage is over priced and limited in its inventory. Pioneer, Fairway, and Whole Foods are all a bit far, and a grocery store in that 68th and Bway location would serve many many people.

    9. Doug Garr says:

      Vacancies are rampant in street level commercial space for the simple reason that the landlords are multiple property owners who can afford to leave them empty until they get the price per square foot for long term leases. Until then they enjoy healthy tax deductions. This is why there needs to be a change in the tax codes that allow depreciation when the reality is real appreciation. Any idiot realtor an explain this entirely legal ploy.

      • young man! says:

        There is no secret tax deduction for having vacant space in your building.
        The owner will pay less taxes simply because they are receiving less income. Same as if you decided to only work 6 months a year for half the salary – you too would be paying less in taxes.

        When will people stop repeating this “tax deductions for vacant storefront” nonsense?

        Fact is that it is hard to find a tenant for 10,000 or so square feet of prime Manhattan real estate. Rent for that space is probably close to $1M a year. I’m sure that the owner would love to have a supermarket or anybody rent the space.

        • soldier says:

          Commercial property taxes depend on the income/rent? That is ither a phenomenal ignorance or you just feel like lying. A lot of that going around lately.

      • Ms grandoni says:

        Thanks for explaining that. I am shocked at the amount of stores closing all up and down B’way.

      • Sherman says:

        I’m a CPA and your comments about the tax code make absolutely no sense……but keep believing this nonsense if it makes you happy.

        • Bob says:

          Ok, people. Let’s clear this up once and for all so Sherman and others can stop hiding behind semantics. It’s not a tax BREAK. It’s a PROFIT LOSS. And they CAN and DO write it off. As any small business owner and they will tell you. This is why Caesar’s pizza is still empty, this is what happened to Harriet’s, etc etc etc.


          • Sherman says:

            There is no “profit loss” for foregone rental income.

            And no, there is no “write off” for foregone rental income.

            No matter what kind of myth you are trying to spread there is absolutely no way a landlord comes out financially ahead by having empty space.

            There is not a landlord in NYC who is deliberately keeping his space empty so he can make a profit on a “write off”.

          • Jay says:

            Bob, please stop. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

            In the words of jerry Seinfeld, you don’t even know what a write-off is.

          • Woody says:

            You’re not clearing up anything with your ridiculous and faulty explanation. There’s no such thing as a PROFIT LOSS. Either one has a profit or a loss. Receiving less rental income doesn’t necessarily mean that a landlord suffers a loss but it does mean that he has less taxable income. That’s not a write-off. It’s no different than an individual taxpayer who receives a bonus/(rent) one year and nothing the next year. The individual has less taxable income, pays less taxes, but is still left with less after-tax income than the year before. No one wants to be in that situation if their goal is to maximize their after-tax income.

            If you really want to be technical, a write-off refers to reducing the value of an asset and has nothing to do with recognized taxable income.

      • Happy Ex-UWS'r says:

        Note to WSR Editors:
        This point about landlords receiving “Tax Breaks” for vacant space comes up nearly every time one of these stories appears. As pointed out by myself and numerous others more qualified than me – this is utter nonsense!
        In the interest of public awareness (isn’t that what this blog is about), could one of your reporters do a simple story about the “Tax implications of vacant space”, along with perhaps the economics of what goes into the rental rate?
        Part of the rental rate includes property taxes, which can be quite substantial. So if a landlord is asking $300/sf for space, likely $50 or more is for property taxes.
        With regards to a Super Market for this space, it is highly unlikely since the food retailing business is very low margin and with competition from the delivery services (Amazon and Fresh Direct, etc) not likely to improve. The only way for these markets to survive is for them to offer higher margin prepared foods and gourmet products. But let your ignorant politicians make statements to justify their 6 figure salaries for what is effectively part time work.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Happy Ex-UWSer says:

          “Part of the rental rate includes property taxes, which can be quite substantial. So if a landlord is asking $300/sf for space, likely $50 or more is for property taxes.
          … But let your ignorant politicians make statements to justify their 6 figure salaries for what is effectively part time work.”

          this is ironic… because Ex-UWSer himself or herself is IGNORANT of basic commercial lease terms.

          The vast majority of commercial leases in NYC have a property tax escalation clause, which passes all property tax increases on to the tenants. The recent insane and unconscionable increase in commercial rents has nothing to do with property tax increases.

          Borough President Gale Brewer, who wrote the letter, is one of the hardest working people in NYC, public or private sector. Accusing her of having a part-time job is laughable.

          This missive is just part of the anger and hate we see directed at government and the public sector, usually for no good reason. Two elected officials advocate for a neighborhood supermarket for thousands of senior citizens, and this is a cause for anger and denigration?

          Paul Krugman addressed this in his column today, calling it “rage filled pettiness” and “demented anger”:


    10. Vera Pressman says:

      Happy to hear about this push. There’s a real need for a quality
      market in this neighborhood. Fingers crossed.

    11. Dale Brown says:

      We really need a real supermarket. With the closing of Food Emporium (68 street)and West Side Market l(76 street) we are stuck with Fairway and Whole Foods that do not have all the items that a traditional supermarket has.

      I’m all for a new supermarket!

    12. Susan H Llewellyn says:

      When it comes to UWS empty corners, 68th & Bway hardly qualifies as genuinely supermarketless (in addition to F’way, TJ, Gourmet Garage, don’t forget Western Beef)!
      That’d strike those of us who live between 86th & 96th as a WEALTH of possibilities, even after the demise of our nearest West Side Market, the closing of the so-what Gristede’s on 86th, and despite Broadway Farms &
      Bazzini’s, plus the great new TJ on 93rd & Col.
      There should certainly be some interest in the nabe in “luring” downstate one of the big chains our northeastern neighbors revel in–e.g., Pricechopper’s or Hannaford’s–to say nothing of a Stop & Shop (currently as “near” as dah Brunx! And what about a full-scale Morton Williams?!

    13. Deena says:

      there is also a Morton Williams that was supposed to have opened “Winter 2018” on 60th and West End. No signs with updates on timing.

      • Starbuck says:

        I work across the street and that Morton Williams has changed their signs THREE times first saying opening “summer 2018” to “fall 2018” and now “winter 2018” it feels like wishful thinking

    14. Lois says:

      The Upper West Side is very underserved with grocery stores. I applaud them for moving on this issue and hope they will try and add more in the 70s and 80s as well. There are not enough to serve the surging population; the lines are crazy. Other neighborhoods have far more options.

    15. Maya Lippman says:

      PLEASE Gale Brewer ask for a supermarket on 86th Street and Broadway as well. Site of the old Gristedes and former Banana Republic. Double height space available and no other Supermarket nearby. Will do very well. Needed very badly!

    16. Arlene S says:

      We desperately need supermarkets in the area!!!
      I hope this works!!
      How about the space on Broadway and 62 st where the movie theater was- another good spot!

    17. Barry On 86th says:

      That’s great for heavily groceries 68th St area, but how about the corner of 86th and Broadway? A vacant former Banana Republic at street level and a recently vacated Gristedes right below. Perfect for a replacement. And we have no national or major supermarket chain in the area. Desperately need one.

      • Carlos says:

        There is a Gristedes on Columbus between 84 and 85 and the other supermarket (I think it is a Key Food?) on Amsterdam between 85 and 86. Neither is perfect but they are definitely adequate to get your staple items.

    18. Ish Kabibble says:

      WEGMAN’S!!! Make it happen, Linda!

      • B.B. says:

        Wegman’s doesn’t really do “small” stores. Their average range is 45,000 to 75,000 square feet.

        Case in point the Wegmans opening in Brooklyn Navy Yard is 74,000 square feet.


        Sincerely doubt for a host of reasons Wegmans would risk diluting their brand and image by shoehorning a store into space that typically passes for a supermarket in Manhattan.

        Simply put Wegmans is a “suburban” type supermarket that just would never find that sort of prime real estate in Manhattan.

        Maybe that former Pathmark space off the FDR Drive on LES might have sufficed. But that is being redeveloped for luxury housing.

    19. elcha8 says:

      Really miss Food Emporium! It would be great to have something like it back in that space.

    20. Jean says:

      LIDLE stores are good as are ALDI stores.

    21. Bonnie Rapaport says:

      Things are worse supermarket wise on 86 st and above

      Food Emporium and Gristedes closed and we are
      Living in a food desert !!…please help

    22. The W. 80th St. Block Association/Billy Amato and staff says:

      Yes!! We do need better and bigger gourmet style high end supermarkets in this area but more so…we need one desperately in the high 70s low 80s on Amsterdam or Columbus Avenues. 👏👏👏

    23. Nancy says:

      86th/Bway has large unoccupied spaces and it is a food wasteland.

    24. Cathy says:

      We could use a good gricery store on 86 and Broadway too, either where Gristides used to be or where Banana Republic or Gap used to be!

    25. Rita Hattem says:

      Yes yes yes!!!!

    26. ML says:

      An Aldi’s supermarket at that location would be nice.

    27. B.B. says:

      People, Food Emporium didn’t “close”, but their parent company (A&P) went bankrupt and liquidated all assets.

      If any supermarket chain thought the 68th and Broadway space was a viable location they could have steeped up at the time. Several Food Emporium locations on UES and UWS were purchased by Morton Williams. A few others by Gristedes.

      By nature supermarkets are high overhead and low margin businesses. New York City “grocery” market is that on steroids due to the built in high cost of doing business.

      This comes at a time when the nature of the business is changing.

      One the one side you have growth of online (Fresh Direct, PeaPod, etc…). On the other you have everything from those scores of fruit and veggie stands on nearly every corner, to places like CVS, RiteAid, Duane Reade, Walgreens and so forth having become virtual grocery stores.

      For many staples such as coffee, milk, cereal, cleaning products, etc.. RiteAid, CVS and sometimes even Walgreens are much cheaper than many Manhattan supermarkets.

      For much of the fifty years or so Mesdames Brewer et Rosenthal are moaning that this location had a supermarket none of the above competition existed.


      Putting the squeeze on Jamestown Properties isn’t going to change facts on the ground. That is unless the ultimate end game here is to force the LL to lower asking rent to levels that *might* entice a supermarket to lease the space.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        what’s wrong with forcing the landlord to lower the outrageous “asking rents”?

        how do many supermarkets survive in the outer boroughs? according to you, they can’t.

        “BB” doesn’t seem to believe in free market principles. If stores stand empty, then the rent is too high. Supply and Demand 101.

        • Cato says:

          — “forcing the landlord to lower the outrageous ‘asking rents'” is not really “free market principles”.

          And “Supply and Demand 101” says that, if there were sufficient demand to meet the costs of running those stores (including rent and taxes), then those storefronts would not be vacant.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            yes, putting pressure on a landlord to rent a space for a beneficial public use is not in accord with abstract “free market principles.” so what? real estate is not a traditional free market.

            the “free market” sometimes produces beneficial results but often doesn’t. the “free market” has failed to produce affordable housing in NYC, for example.

            but you’ve got “supply and demand” wrong.

            Cato said:

            “And “Supply and Demand 101” says that, if there were sufficient demand to meet the costs of running those stores (including rent and taxes), then those storefronts would not be vacant.”

            Sorry… what “supply and Demand 101” says is that if storefronts are lying vacant (no demand at current prices), prices (rents) come DOWN. When that doesn’t happen, you have what is called a “market failure.”

            also, lets end this business about property taxes playing a role in rents being so high. As everyone who has had a commercial lease in NYC knows, property tax increases for landlords are passed along to commercial tenants in a standard clause.

        • B.B. says:

          Because it is none of mine, yours or anyone else what a LL charges in rent. That is the nature of free markets. Otherwise might as well go with socialism or worse, communism and be done with things.

          NY has had “emergency” rent control laws for > 70 years and look how well that has worked out for residential.

          For your information commercial asking rents have decreased over past several months. Not to give away levels some of you would like, but never the less….

          As have repeatedly stated, and cannot understand what is so hard to comprehend there are two sides to this “empty retail” saga. For various reasons (including the growth of online), many simply see no need to have a physical retail space.

          Not having to service retail space, or at least a shop or whatever geared to receiving customers saves any business *HUGE* sums.

          • Jay says:

            BB, there are many who post here that don’t want to comprehend the dynamics at play.

            It’s much easier to rail against a single player as the cause of all ills rather than taking the time to think.

        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          As usual you’re very generous with everyone’s money but your own.

          I believe you should go into the real estate business and have a bunch of bureaucrats and lefty politicians “force” you to lease your space to a tenant willing to pay you below market rent.


        • Sherman says:

          Hi Bruce

          You’re the last person to be lecturing anybody about “supply and demand”.

          Last time I checked your apartment wasn’t exactly obtained based on these immutable laws.


    28. AC says:

      Politicians shaking down landlords????

    29. UWS Craig says:

      I propose that the city grant a tax break for desirable businesses such as grocery stores and offset this with a tax increase on undesirable businesses such as Duane Reade and Nail Salons.

      • Cato says:

        — “I propose that the city … [impose] a tax increase on undesirable businesses such as Duane Reade and Nail Salons.”

        Why are those businesses “undesirable” — and “undesirable” to whom? You personally might not like them, but if no one in the community found them sufficiently “desirable” to shop there then they would close.

        The fact that (most) Duane Reades and nail salons stay in business says that enough people in the community find them “desirable”, at least enough to shop there.

        And who will decide just which businesses are “undesirable”, under your model? People vote with their pocketbooks. If a particular store is “undesirable”, then don’t shop there. If enough people in the community agree with you, the store will close without the artificial government intervention you advocate.

    30. Burtnor says:

      68th and Broadway? There is Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Fairway. What about in the 80s and Broadway where there once were four supermarkets within a 6 block radius, and now there is nothing! I have to take a subway to a market and then a cab home because I can’t drag bags up and down the subway stairs, and it is usually a 20 minute wait for a bus.It’s ridiculous!

    31. Boomer NY says:

      No one has commented that I believe the landlord is probably still receiving rent from Loews. Since Loews didn’t go bankrupt and are still a profit making company, I believe they are still responsible for the lease — and they would be paying some or all of the current rent through their contract.

      Does anyone know differently?

      • lease man says:

        It all depends on how their lease is written. Sometimes there is an early termination clause that states what the penalty will be. I usually see 6 months of the escalated rent plus a penalty and any unamortized lease incentives the landlord gave upon signing plus 8% interest. Hefty but cheaper than staying open and bleeding cash.

        While I would love a grocery store at this location I think the fact that one already gave it a shot there and failed speaks volumes.

    32. Kathleen says:

      lt would be good to have Trader Joe’s all on one floor. Would they move? Have they been asked?

      • B.B. says:

        TJ’s just spent huge sums on that new location; why would they flush all that money down the pan and move elsewhere?

        Oh and they have a lease which would need to be broken. Commercial landlords aren’t nearly as forgiving about tenants who back out of leases before they expire as residential.

    33. Evan Bando says:

      “I strongly encourage you to select a grocery store or supermarket as your commercial tenant.” Or the neighborhood will boycott anything else that is put in there.

    34. Elke says:

      I would love a supermarket there! I always wonder where all the people in NYC shop, I mean with that many people there should be a supermarket on every corner. I just found Misfits, they deliver organic veggies that are not as pretty and left out. Pretty good stuff. But deliveries like that are just adding to the trash of boxes… so I’d rather walk to a market…

    35. Marci says:

      Susan H Llewellyn,I wholeheartedly agree. We’ve got Key Food, which tries but their space is small, and that’s about it. We do most of our grocery shopping at TJ’s (72nd) and Fairway, and lug everything home 16 blocks. I’d LOVE to have all that within 4-6 blocks. Between 86th and 96th is definitely in need!

    36. Leezy says:

      I would love a grocery store in this space. The 72nd Street Trader Joe’s is too crowded for day to day needs. For those of us who live on Central Park west or Columbus in the low 60s (66th to 69th), the closest option is Gourmet Garage, which has low inventory and misses basics. Fairway would be great if it were not over 10-12 blocks away.

    37. Liz says:

      Why no thought for the tenants living above a supermarket? Vermin, noise, truck fumes–it’s hardly pleasant. And, I am sorry to say, elderly shoppers who buy very small quantities are not exactly the ideal customer.

      • Sue Llewellyn says:

        That’s THEIR choice, in the sense that most of them can afford to live in the luxury hi-rises where such supermarkets tend to locate–a “warped” use of demographics from the marketing standpoint too, since many studies seem to reflect that “millennials don’t cook!

    38. barbara Hariton says:

      I would welcome a supermarket/eatery like Whole Foods. Food Emporium lacked appeal.Trader Joe’s is a mad house and Fairways, which is too far away for me is also very crowded.There must be a marketing style that fits the area.

    39. Jay says:

      There are plenty of grocery stores in the area. The fact that food emporium went out of business is a sign that it can’t be supported by the neighborhood.

      • Sue Llewellyn says:

        Jay: Pls. see comment above re: Food Emporium’s parent A&P bankruptcy; also be aware that at least on the UES, most Food Emporiums simply underwent a name-change–to Morton Williams! It all has LITTLE to do with a neighborhood’s inability to “support” a supermarket–and TOO MUCH to do with so-called landlords’ “economies of choice”!

        • B.B. says:

          Morton Williams is getting ready to open their *Third* supermarket on Third Avenue. On corner of East 72nd in the long vacant former Talbots space.

    40. Nina says:

      I have lived on 68 street since 1972. There was an A&P on Broadway and 68 street, a butcher two doors uptown, a supermarket on 70th and Columbus, a bodega on Columbus between 68 and 69 and a Gristedes on Central Park West and 64 street. Something is very wrong with the rental situation in this city where it can be more profitable for a store front to remain empty for almost 2 years ( before Lowe’s) then for it to charge reasonable rents so that residents can have the services they need

      • Sue Llewellyn says:

        A “dedicated” BUTCHER?!!!! Dream on, my friends!

      • Stuart says:

        Let’s not forget the Red Apple chain with a bunch of locations all over the neighborhood, and the Daitch Shopwell on Broadway between 77th and 78th that later morphed into a Crazy Eddie store.

    41. dorian says:

      Now that there are so many new mega-buildings going up in zip 10024-I have been really concerned about the lack of grocery stores. The influx of so many new residents is not only going to make the 79th Street subway more impossible than it is, but I know that food shopping will also become intolerable.

    42. drg says:

      “” I have lived on 68 street since 1972. “”….

      I was also living in the neighborhood in the 70’s and can attest that indeed there were more supermarkets.

      However, back then, there was NO Amazon, Jet, FreshDirect, Chewy, etc. Also no Seamless, grubhub, doordash, etc…

      I think that there is much more takeout, ordering online at a discount and less consumption of the packaged foods that would fill an average supermarket aisles. Look at the trouble Heinz foods is in.

      In our neighborhood, the margins are too thin for a big supermarket chain to compete against WF, TJ, etc. Its basic economics, hard to legislate. Even the evil small store killer Barnes & Noble was no longer financially viable. What about Tower video, what about Blockbuster and the video rental stores on every block. Times change, for good or bad.

    43. your_neighbor says:

      To help out all the people clamoring for a supermarket in the 80s-90s…

      Maybe Gayle and Linda can make themselves useful by putting in a large supermarket in one of the many NYCHA buildings that are actually owned by the City of NY. Give some supermarket free or subsidized rent of 30 or 40 thousand square feet and see if they can make a profit or if everyone still just goes to TJ or orders Fresh Direct.

      Or maybe require a large supermarket to be built the next time a mega project needs a zoning variance?

      Much better than telling some private property owner what to do with their property.

    44. joe cee says:

      The prices at Food Emporium were ridiculously high so most residents avoided shopping there. How will that change if a new store opens in the same extremely high rental space. Is anyone going to convince the landlord to take less? I doubt it. They would rather leave it empty.

    45. UWS10023 says:

      i greatly miss the Food Emporium!

    46. B.B. says:

      Why do so many assume any supermarket chain or whatever is totally unaware this retail space exists?

      If someone thought they could make a go of a supermarket in this location it would have happened long ago by now. Fact that it hasn’t tells people crunch the numbers and the answer is a supermarket just doesn’t pencil out.

    47. B.B. says:

      Leave us remember *why* that Food Emporium store closed: https://www.westsiderag.com/2013/03/18/food-emporium-on-broadway-to-close-in-may

      Had nothing to do with A&P’s bankruptcy per se; but overall FE and in particular this particular Broadway store was badly managed, and didn’t bring in sales per square foot to justify that huge space.

      Think some of you forget (or just don’t know) how sky high Food Emporium’s prices were for the area.

      Yelp ratings for the place weren’t that great either.

      Furthermore people have been moaning, pushing, agitating for or whatever to get a supermarket in this space for > five years; and it just hasn’t happened. https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131108/lincoln-square/residents-demand-former-lincoln-square-food-emporium-become-grocery-store/

      Has nothing to do with the LL per se; but a smart decision by any supermarket chain. Owners simply look at any map which will show owners who look at the area and see Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, Fairway, Citarella and West Side Market all within a ten block radius. Piled onto that you’ve got CVS, Walgreen’s and RiteAid stores in that area as well.

      Long story short any supermarket in this location will not have a captive market, and nothing a bunch of concerned activists and their got at elected officials can change those facts on ground.

      Young households even on the UWS don’t run themselves like Bubbe ran her home. They have choices and technology at their disposal, and are using them to full advantage.

      Proof off this is how you can’t get away from people carrying Trader Joe’s or Whole Food’s shopping bags on UWS subway, buses and or streets.

    48. saradesel says:

      West Side Market would be so great there…

    49. Michael Hobson says:

      Another Trader Joes location there would be phenomenal asset. Tally my vote.