Another Asian grocer — identified as “JMart Group Inc.” — has topped Fei Long’s $10 million bid on the 8121 New Utrecht Avenue store by $400,000, according to documents from yesterday’s auction obtained by Coupons in the News and shared with this publication.
Called a “cook’s paradise” by Time Out New York, JMart is a massive supermarket located in Flushing’s sprawling New World Shopping Center. It is stocked with ingredients imported from the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, India, and beyond. We reached out to the owners of the Queens Jmart to find out if they are the winning bidders listed on the court papers, but were unable to obtain confirmation.
If the deal with JMart falls through before February 5, Fei Long is listed as the backup bidder on the property. (The owners of Fei Long denied putting a bid on the building in an email to Bensonhurst Bean last week, though their names and contact information were listed on the court filings.)
Meanwhile, a Change.org petition — loaded with thinly veiled and explicitly anti-Asian comments — has been circulating, garnering more than 1,000 signatures and calling for supermarket goliath Trader Joe’s to take over the New Utrecht Avenue building.
While many who signed the petition noted that a Trader Joe’s store would be a boon to the neighborhood — bringing in much-needed affordable, healthy and gourmet offerings — others seemed less intent on expanding Bensonhurst’s retail options than on keeping Asian markets out.
So far Bensonhurst’s love affair with Trader Joe’s remains unrequited. Despite the availability of a “location request” tab on the company’s website, a spokesperson curtly told us that opening a supermarket in southern Brooklyn is “not in the company’s two-year plan.”
“Although it’s really nice to be wanted, wooing does not factor into our decision making process,” said TJ spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki.
Trader Joe’s does not disclose what goes into its decision making process, she added.