Fancy-free! Slopers ban Whole Foods, Eataly from replacing Key Food

Shoppin’ around: Dozens of Park Slope shoppers filed out to PS 133 on Nov. 1 to be among the first to learn about the fate of their beloved Key Food grocery store on Fifth Avenue.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’ve got an appetite for obstruction!

Park Slopers have banned a developer from replacing the Fifth Avenue Key Food with an outlet of upscale grocery chains Whole Foods, Citarella, Balducci’s, Grace’s Marketplace, or Eataly as part of a deal they struck with the builder in exchange for their approval to erect a new apartment building on the site.

High-end emporiums are hungry for a taste of the expensive neighborhood, but many longtime locals can’t actually afford to shop at them and want to ensure their beloved low-cost supermarket is succeeded by another store that fits their budget, according to one resident who was on the negotiating team.

“They’re just things that won’t work in this neighborho­od,” said Ayana Muhammad, a property manager at local housing organization Park Slope North Housing Development Fund Corporation. “They come in and they see the high rent prices, but fail to realize there’s a long list of people that have lived here for 20, 30, 40, and some even 50 years.”

After months of discussions, developer Avery Hall Investments has also agreed to allot 22,000 square feet — around half a football field — to a new grocery store on the site at Baltic Street, in a building that will include 165 apartments.

That’s a smaller market than the roughly 30,000-square-foot Key Food currently there, but far more than the 7,500-square-foot space that Avery Hall had originally pitched after it inked a deal to buy the property last year, and most residents at a meeting unveiling the deal on Nov. 1 said they were satisfied with the compromise.

“This feels like a win,” said local Isaac Lief.

Typically, locals wouldn’t get a say in the development, but the land falls under an urban renewal plan, so any changes there will require the city’s sign-off, and residents were able to exploit the arrangement to secure another affordable grocery store, according to one local pol.

“It was clear the city was much less likely to grant them the change to the urban renewal plan unless we reached a good deal around the supermarket,” said Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope).

In addition to blacklisting the aforementioned luxury grocers, the developer has agreed to give locals a say in which markets will be approached to operate the more compact supermarket on the site, and to try to sign the eventual winner onto a 20-year lease.

The operators will be required to set aside at least half of the shopping space for foods that need to be prepared at home, and 30 percent of the retail area must be reserved for perishable goods.

The new development will include 182 subterranean parking spots, although shoppers will likely have to pay to use it, according to local S.J. Avery (no relation to the developer), who was also on the negotiating committee.

Avery Hall is also including 41 below-market-rate units in its development.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
what about Bohacks?
Nov. 2, 2016, 5:52 pm
Mom from Old School says:
Urban renewal, haha.
Nov. 2, 2016, 9:56 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
182 parking spots are expensive. No one's going to be able to afford to shop there even if it's a Gristedes.
Nov. 2, 2016, 10:16 pm
Local from Park Slope says:
182 parking spots? What a disaster! That will generate so much traffic. Anyone who needs to drive to a grocery store has plenty of stores to drive to, including the Stop & Shop at the Atlantic Center just a few minutes away.

Building an underground parking garage is such a waste at a time when we have an affordable housing crisis. This will only add to the expense of the project.

This city's parking regulations need to be changed.
Nov. 2, 2016, 10:20 pm
Alex from Park Slope says:
You nailed it, Local. That garage will be BIGGER than the surface lot that's there now. Huge missed opportunity to reduce traffic in the neighborhood and completely unnecessary given how close that location is to a massive transit hub. Incredibly myopic.
Nov. 3, 2016, 1:15 am
ty from pps says:
parking lots are for parked cars. not traffic. parking lots reduce traffic.
Nov. 3, 2016, 8:06 am
Local from Park Slope says:
Nope. If you know you'll have parking at the end of your trip, you'll drive. If you know it might be hard to find parking, you'll consider other options.
Nov. 3, 2016, 9:27 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
I never understood why anyone shopped here when they could get a better deal at the Park Slope Food Coop.
Nov. 3, 2016, 9:46 am
JC from Crown Heights says:
Joey - because you can't just walk into the Coop and shop there. Some people's schedules don't allow for being a member
Nov. 3, 2016, 11:46 am
Morris from Mill Basin says:
No one is too fat to walk to the grocery store. If that were the only way you could get the crappy processed food you stuff your face with, you'd crawl there.
Nov. 3, 2016, 11:55 am
historiccookery says:
Nov. 3, 2016, 1:45 pm
Joanna from Cobble Hill says:
Nov. 3, 2016, 3:03 pm
Jjm from C. Hill says:
Build an aldi. Now thats really cheap grocery shopping. I usually get all of my stuff there except for steaks, i go to western beef or any other market for that.
Nov. 3, 2016, 4:20 pm
Roberto from Brooklyn Heights says:
Balducci’s, Grace’s … overpriced schmaltz
Nov. 3, 2016, 4:53 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I just think that placing an Eataly is a bad idea in itself. When the cold weather starts to come, it will be seen as a waste of space, and I doubt many will be using at that time of year. The same thing whenever it rains or gets too hot. At least with the parking spaces, it will be used all year long. As for the Wholefoods, I would rather have something that gives groceries that are affordable such as Key Foods rather than something that is overpriced. Another reason to keep the parking spaces is that those drive there will be carrying a lot of things and that their cars are the only way to do so efficiently.
Nov. 3, 2016, 5:25 pm
Sid from Boreum hill says:
I doubt you will see Fairway.they over expanded and are in bankruptcy.
Nov. 3, 2016, 7:03 pm
Diane from Park Slope says:
I applaud the people who took the time to go to the meetings and to fight for all of us nearby. Thank you for the result. The plan is so much better than it would have been.
Nov. 3, 2016, 8:27 pm
Catherine says:
Instead of a supermarket they could open a gigantic L'Occitaine cosmetics store. That is something that this neighborhood doesn't have, and desperately needs.
Nov. 4, 2016, 7:29 am
Michelle from Clinton Hill says:
The new Key Food on Myrtle in Clinton Hill is more expensive than the new Whole Foods in Williamsburg.
Nov. 4, 2016, 12:11 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Why in the f-ck am I talking about Eataly above?
Nov. 4, 2016, 7:02 pm
Katia from Red Hook says:
Wholefoods is great. Fairways would be a reasonable compromise. Since the son got greedy and weakened the business, a deal may be struck?

Don't know what Eataly is.
Nov. 5, 2016, 5:12 pm
Marie from Carroll Gardens says:
Fairways keep raising prices.
Nov. 7, 2016, 8:54 am

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