Two Bridges Neighborhood Council Meets With Pathmark Execs

The Cherry Street Pathmark is now closed.

As most everyone knows by now, the Cherry Street Pathmark store closed in the waning days of 2012, leaving thousands of residents without a full-service grocery store.  Yesterday the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council sent out an email blast updating its efforts to fill the fresh-food gap on the Lower East Side.

On Monday, Two Bridges and its consultant, Urbane Development LLC, met with Sam Martin, the head of Pathmark parent company A&P. The meeting took place at the company’s headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey.  According to the email, the A&P team made it clear “they are sensitive to the void the departure of the Cherry Street Pathmark leaves in the Lower East Side/Two Bridges community, both from a food access and community facility perspective.”

Pathmark agreed to help Two Bridges with a “Community Food Assessment Shopping Study” they’re conducting.  They’ll assist by “providing historical pricing data on select market basket of items that will act as a baseline for a neighborhood food price index.” The index will be part of a “Two Bridges Grocery Guide,” that will be published in the spring.

“The most significant aspect of the meeting,” said Two Bridges Neighborhood Council President Victor Papa,” was the enthusiasm both organizations expressed for maintaining an open dialogue about A&P’s interest in playing a role in the Two Bridges community in the future. For that, they have the community’s full support.”

In September, Pathmark announced that the grocery and an adjacent pharmacy would be closing to make way for a “large scale residential development.”  The company is leaving open the possibility of returning to Cherry Street once the project is completed.  Although it’s widely assumed that Gary Barnett of Extell Development is preparing to put up a very large residential complex on the site, there’s been no confirmation of that.

 

  • BrownleeDean

    Victor Papa and the TBNC are clearly out of touch with the local community. “..they (A&P Pathmark) have the full support of the local community”? Which “community”, is Victor referring to exactly? This organization needs to take a few steps out of their offices and look around. Although they have made some effort to improve their image, their staff is clearly not representative of the local community-not for or an organization based in a section 8 housing development, further surrounded by public housing. Most of the local residents who shopped at Pathmark on a weekly (or even more frequent basis) are pissed at Pathmark’s callous actions and lies and couldn’t care less if they decided to return. Pathmark lied to the very end about closure dates, restocking store, and pharmacy transfers. In fact they never posted any sign about the pharmacy closing until the day of, leaving many residents to scramble to find prescription refills. The so-called, “rally” that was supposed to help “save” Pathmark was only promoted by local politicians. TBNC’s position was not to save the store at all leading many to ask what is the role of the TBNC? Does TBNC really think that we will welcome back Pathmark with open arms? We also question the hiring of a, “food and local economy consultant group”. I certainly hope that this is charity work for the only benefit is for Urbane Development’s profile. Most people had never even heard of this type of company until now. Did they really need to hire someone (hopefully, not paid) to tell us that we now need to shop at the Fine Fare on Grand St or that milk is 2 pennies less at Key Food?! Most of the local residents have figured out something on their own since it’s now been a few months since closure became imminent. We’ve talked amongst ourselves as a community about where to shop and who delivers, etc. We have to buy food now for our families. Do we really need a grocery guide in June telling us where to shop? Give me a break, this is NYC. And if they really wanted to serve the community, they would have done this earlier last year when Pathmark announced it’s closure. Not after the fact. TBNC knew well in advance that Pathmark was leaving. The only thing that the TBNC may have done is set the seeds for a real neighborhood organization. I am reminded by a quote from Anne Johnson of C.B.3 who said, ” ….I’ve known Victor Papa for almost 40 years and nothing he does isn’t for the benefit of Victor Papa…”. This leads me to believe that TBNC has a different angle to play in the upcoming residential development. While I don’t think Victor will play the, “poverty pimp”, I do think that the TBNC will somehow benefit from this-and at the expense of the real local residents. TBNC has been vague about their role in this development-what they do and do not own, what they want from the developer, air space rights-and has downright lied in some of their press conferences. As a non-profit, I also hope that the TBNC will finally make their tax forms, records, salaries, etc., easy to find and transparent. TBNC needs to find a better way to connect with the local community. Their programs and events are clearly from grad-school textbooks/seminars as opposed to real grass-roots type programs. Their numbers are pitifully low in some of their programs and they have no clue why. How many local Two Bridge residents do you really think even know or care about their signature, “Marco Polo” annual event? I also urge the press, well to be, the press. I’m sure TBNC is mature enough to handle a little due-diligence and some criticism.