Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, Councilman Lew Fidler and Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo joined with representatives of the Lefrak organization and Aldi market today to announce that the German-based grocer has signed on to replace Pathmark at 3785 Nostrand Avenue.
The storefront has sat empty since April 2011 as local elected and the landlord, Lefrak, scrambled to find a supermarket replacement – one of the top constituent demands, the pols said.
“This is a location that has hundreds of thousands of people desperate for a store they could walk to. I know because when I walk around and talk to residents, that’s the only question they want to know,” said Weinstein. “They don’t want to know what’s happening in Albany, they don’t want to know what’s happening in the budget. They just want to know, ‘When can I walk with my cart to go to the store and buy something?'”
“We all know after the closing of Pathmark, there was an absolute need for an alternative to meet the needs of the community,” Markowitz added. “There was no excuse, in this, the greatest city of the world, that residents have to travel far and wide to get a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread.”
The elected also noted that finding a new anchor tenant would revitalize the commercial corridor.
“I’ll make a prediction: a year after this Aldi’s opens, any of these ‘For Lease’ signs [on Nostrand Avenue near Avenue Y] will be gone. That is what this means to this community,” said Fidler. “You’ll come here and while you’re here you’ll stop in any of these great stores and the empty ones will be filled with new merchants.”
Sheepshead Bites was the first to report earlier this week that Aldi signed a deal with Lefrak to take the space, establishing the first Brooklyn location for the German chain. It is expected to open in October 2013.
“What has happened here, I hope we can do for the folks now in Brighton Beach, because they have the same issue,” Markowitz said. “Supermarkets [are] closing down and there are no supermarkets at all.”