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Sheepshead Bay residents say they have to schlep to shop now that the Nostrand Avenue Pathmark has closed, and it doesn’t appear they’ll get any relief soon.
Locals say they’ve been driving or bussing more than 20 minutes from their homes to get to a big-name supermarket since the Nostrand Avenue Pathmark closed down April 15, leaving a gaping hole in the shopping center near Avenue Y.
“It’s really sad and inconvenient,” said Victoria Harris, who lives about five blocks from the out-of-business grocery. “If I was a millionaire I’d buy that property and turn it into another supermarket.”
Bankrupt Pathmark-owner A&P announced in February that it would close the 10-year-old store, and since then, Southern Brooklyn lawmakers have pledged to find a new supermarket to take over the space. Borough President Markowitz and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D–Sheepshead Bay) have written to at least five stores asking them to move there.
“The residents of this area have an absolute need for a quality supermarket,” said Borough President Markowitz.
But so far, no deal has been inked. Property owner The LeFrak Organization declined to comment on the vacant storefront, which has now seen two supermarkets close over the last 10 years. In 2002, a Waldbaum’s in the same spot went out of business, and pols rallied to get the Pathmark to move in.
But with the site that takes up half a block vacant, locals are again struggling to get to a supermarket. Harris said that she now takes the bus to the Pathmark on Albany Avenue in the Flatlands, which is more than three miles from her home.
The eastern half of Sheepshead Bay doesn’t have any other supermarkets comparable to Pathmark in size. The closest chains, which include Waldbaum’s on Ocean Avenue, Key Food on Gerritsen Avenue and Super Stop & Shop on Avenue Y, are 15 blocks away from some residents, many of whom are senior citizens who don’t drive.
“My mother is 76 years old and has nowhere to shop now!” said Louie Sabino, who owns Connie’s pizzeria in the shopping center adjacent to the old Pathmark site. “I drive her to Stop & Shop now, but [its] prices aren’t as good.”
But not all locals schlep or catch a ride. Some have taken to shopping at Silver Star market, a 40-year-old shop that’s across the street from the old Pathmark site. “There has been a real increase in business and it’s noticeably more crowded in here,” said co-owner Pat Basile.
But for many, Silver Star isn’t enough. It has six aisles, about two-thirds less than the rows of goods that Pathmark boasted. The store can’t hold as many customers and doesn’t have as much brand variety.
“I still want a big supermarket,” said Silver Star shopper Neala Calvelle.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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