The developer behind a controversial plan to redevelop the site of a longstanding supermarket in Crown Heights has sold the property.
Midwood Investment & Development has sold 975 Nostrand Avenue to the Hudson Companies, the two entities announced today in a press release. The site was home for decades to an Associated Supermarket that closed last month.
Hudson plans to start construction next year on a mixed-use development on the site, the press release said, and has agreed to honor a commitment made by Midwood to include space for a new market on the site operated by the former Associated’s management.
In July, Midwood and Associated owner Pablo Espinal reached an agreement in which Espinal signed a 15-year lease to take at least 21,000 square feet in the planned development. Hudson says its acquisition of the site includes the assumption of that lease.
Hudson also says the project will include “mixed-income” housing, retail and community space, and will seek a LEED Gold sustainability certification. That plan roughly matches the one described by Midwood when it announced its own plans to redevelop the site.
“As long-time believers in this neighborhood, we’re excited for the opportunity to create much-needed housing, while supporting the preservation of a valued neighborhood business,” David Kramer, Hudson’s president, said in a statement. “We know that thoughtful development can serve multiple needs and look forward to delivering an excellent project to our neighbors in the Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens communities.”
Espinal could not immediately be reached for comment. The announcement said Dan O’Brien of Cushman Wakefield represented Midwood in the transaction but did not provide information on the amount of the sale.
The Associated had been housed in the 50-year-old, 16,000-square-foot building at the site since 1991, replacing an A&P Supermarket that had previously occupied the space. But in January, news broke that Midwood, which has owned the site since 1970, had declined to extend the grocer’s lease, prompting backlash from residents in the largely Black and Caribbean neighborhood who feared the closure would make it harder to access affordable groceries.
Neighborhood elected officials and the local community board spoke out against the supermarket’s ouster. Activists organized protests outside the market, and a petition to save the Associated garnered nearly 5,000 signatures.
Midwood committed later in the month to include a supermarket in its planned development, but would not say whether it would be Associated or another vendor. Negotiations between the developer and supermarket soured after Espinal reportedly rejected a buyout proposal from Midwood, which then hit the Associated with a 30-day notice to vacate and later filed a lawsuit against Espinal, whom they accused of trashing Midwood’s reputation.
In July Midwood announced an agreement to lease space to the Associated in the new development and said it would resolve the suit.
“Over the last 50 years we have remained a committed member of the Crown Heights community and are proud to have worked with Hudson, a developer who shares our commitment, to ensure that this site continues to play a vital role for the neighborhood,” said John Usdan, Midwood’s president, said in a statement announcing the sale.
Other recent developments by Hudson in the area include the 23-story Parkline building at 626 Flatbush Avenue and the Clark and Lois projects on Clarkson Avenue, both mixed-use developments in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.
The office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told PIX11 last month that it had reached out to GrowNYC about the possibility of setting up a farmers market while the site is under development. Adams’ office also said it was in talks with Midwood about potentially establishing a shuttle service to transport older residents to a nearby grocery store. Bklyner has asked the developers and Adams’ office for updates on those initiatives.