As the owners of Jmart quietly closed on the Waldbaums supermarket site last week, a “no parking” sign has popped up in the store’s parking lot.
The 37-year-old New Utrecht Avenue supermarket — which shut down as part of A&P’s recent bankruptcy filing — has been vacant since November, and its lot has become a dumping ground for trash, stripped down cars, and random articles of clothing.
One neighbor, who we’ll identify only as Muggles, inquired about the signage, which specifies that “unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.”
She wrote us:
The owner’s of the Waldbaums had no problem allowed cars to park there overnight. The signs that JMart has posted seem to indicate they are going to screw over the hard working people of the neighborhood… Parking is a huge deal in the area. It’s going to put a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths if cars start getting towed. As of 8pm on February 26th, 2016, there were 43 cars parked in that parking lot. I wonder what will happen tomorrow. Can the Brooklyn Bean look into this? Parking is a huge deal in the area. It’s going to put a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths if cars start getting towed.
A representative for Jmart — which has owned the private lot for less than a week — told us that the owners have big plans for the space, but that renovations to the building and cleanup will take some time.
The supermarket’s owners have also not yet decided what the parking policy will be when the store opens, but at the moment “no parking” signs are necessary to get the ambitious job done, and to ensure that vehicles are not damaged when work crews come in.
Regarding the trash, Community Board 11 (CB11)’s District Manager Marnee Elias Pavia told us the board has referred complaints to the correct city agencies.
“We have contacted the Department of Sanitation regarding the garbage and illegal dumping at the former Waldbaums parking lot,” said Elias Pavia. “Since this is private property, it was forwarded to the lot cleaning division, where a legal process is followed.”
In other words, the lot will be cleared, the new building will be built, but if we want to help it along, we all need cooperate and park our cars somewhere else.