We have just confirmed rumors that have been circulating for several weeks — the Pathmark store at 227 Cherry Street is closing at the end of the year. In an emailed statement, Pathmark spokesperson Marcy Connor wrote:
Our Pike Slip Pathmark store in New York, NY, will close at the end of December due to the sale of the lease to a third party. We are relinquishing the lease to accommodate a large scale residential development and improvement project, while preserving the right to operate once the project is complete. We notified our union partners on Sept. 25, and we began notifying associates on Sept. 28. As part of the store closing process, future assignments will be handled pursuant to associate’s respective collective bargaining agreements. While this currently is a difficult circumstance for our associates, customers, partners and local communities, we remain focused on providing great value and service to our customers, and we look forward to potentially operating in this location again in the future.
In 2007 community groups mobilized in an effort to keep the store open after rumors surfaced hinting at a possible closure. At the time, the parcel at Pike and Cherry streets had supposedly been sold for $250 million and luxury condos were planned. Pathmark is owned by the A&P Supermarket chain, which recently emerged from bankruptcy.
The closure is a big blow to the Two Bridges neighborhood, a largely low-income section of the Lower East Side under-served by food retailers. The Two Bridges Neighborhood Council has been a longtime advocate of keeping the store open. This afternoon, Two Bridges President Victor Papa plans to meet with the property owner to learn more about the situation. No matter what happens, he told us a short time ago, the organization will seek assurances that a grocery store will be part of any new residential development on the site. “We fought to keep the Pathmark store there and we will fight to make sure a supermarket stays there in the future,” Papa said.
No plans have been filed with the Department of Buildings just yet. Back in 2007, Curbed dug up a sales brochure floating a couple of different proposals, including one for twin 50-story towers on the Pathmark site. Pathmark possessed a long-term lease at 227 Cherry Street that (if still in place) doesn’t expire for another 35 years or so.
UPDATE 4:10 p.m. Here’s a statement we just received from State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver:
I am deeply concerned by the announcement that Pathmark plans to close its store on Cherry Street. A full service supermarket at this location is of vital importance to thousands of residents in this community who have few other options for fresh food and other essentials. Five years ago, I led an effort to keep this store open and I will once again work hard to ensure that we retain a full service supermarket at this location.
UPDATE 6:56 p.m. The Two Bridges Neighborhood Council has released the following statement regarding today’s news:
… (This) imminent loss to the Two Bridges’ community is unthinkable. The Pathmark supermarket… currently serves the essential needs of every strata of our diverse Lower East Side community, especially seniors and low income families. Furthermore, the possible loss of the Pathmark pharmacy is particularly disconcerting, considering it serves hundreds of families in this area. In essence, the loss of both the Pathmark supermarket and pharmacy is the loss of a very essential social service. In upcoming weeks, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, Inc. intends to solicit the assistance of our local elected officials, community leaders, and residents to work towards extending the Pathmark’s services for as long as possible, until continuity of services can be guaranteed by a future on-site full service supermarket that aims to serve the diverse communities and needs of this area. A supermarket in our community is essential to thousands of residents who have very few other options for fresh food and other essentials.