The Pathmark Pharmacy at 227 Cherry Street is shuttering at the end of today, in spite of previous indications that it would remain open until the end of the month. Several weeks ago it was announced that the pharmacy and adjacent grocery store would be closing to make way for a large-scale residential development project.
Yesterday, the shelves were pretty bare, as workers prepared to consolidate merchandise in the grocery store building, which itself is scheduled to close at the end of December. The Two Bridges Neighborhood Council owns the pharmacy building. Cherry Street LLC, which owns the grocery store site and held the lease for the pharmacy building, reportedly transferred both leases to a third party, believed to be luxury New York City developer Extell Development.
Yesterday afternoon, Two Bridges President Victor Papa met with Pathmark officials, in an effort to come up with both short-term and long-term solutions to the loss of two valuable community resources. During an October 10 rally, elected officials and community activists spoke out against the closures and urged Pathmark to reconsider. But in recent days the emphasis has shifted; the Two Bridges organization is now hoping to lay the groundwork for Pathmark’s return a couple of years from now when the planned residential complex is ready for occupancy. A high priority, Papa said, is ensuring that an affordable grocery returns to Cherry Street, rather than a Whole Foods-type of business catering exclusively to a high-end clientele.
In the meantime, Papa has asked Pathmark to provide a shuttle service to another superstore location in Gowanus. Two Bridges is waiting for a reply to that request. The organization has also set up an emergency prescription drug delivery service for seniors. Still to be determined: a new tenant for the pharmacy building. It will be up to the new lease holder (presumably Extell) to decide what becomes of the space, although Two Bridges has the right to sign off on any business wishing to sub-lease the property.