Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Petition drive underway to help save the Stuy Town Associated on East 14th Street



As previously noted, owners of the Associated on East 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue in Stuy Town would like to have their supermarket's lease renewed.

However, the current Stuy Town management has refused to commit to a renewal and then tried to buy out the lease. (Find more background at the Town & Village blog, who was the first to report on this.)

And no one knows what the new owners, Blackstone, intend to do. While the lease isn't up for two years, Joseph Falzon, the principal owner of the Associated, has been asking because he wants to renovate the store, per Town & Village.

Now members of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association have launched a campaign at Change.org to help save the Associated.

Per the petition:

Tell Blackstone we need to save our Associated Supermarket

Stuyvesant Town needs to keep its local supermarket. It is especially important for our seniors who can't walk five or six long blocks to get to the next nearest food market. Since 2005, 4 local supermarkets have closed because of rising rents or because chain drug stores could pay much more. NYC is losing too many of its small stores because of rising rents and because landlords have no real connection or concern for the needs of working class New Yorkers.

Associated is willing to pay more rent if the landlord Blackstone is reasonable. The city is bending over backwards to give all kinds of lucrative incentives away so Blackstone can be reasonable. Having an affordable supermarket is just as essential in maintaining the middle class lifestyle in this unique neighborhood.

You can access the petition here.

As a rep of the tenants association told us, "This all-purpose supermarket is essential not only to many Stuyvesant Town residents but also to those who live south of 14th Street."

Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Associated owners not having any luck shopping for a lease renewal on East 14th Street (34 comments)

34 comments:

wers heve said...

I want to keep the supermarket there to. But that Associated is terrible.

Anonymous said...

Blackstone doesn't want seniors or grocery stores. If they had it their way, it would be a Bed, Bath & Beyond for the college kids they back into those illegally partitioned apartments. The complex is a bomb waiting to go off.

Edmund Dunn said...

The issue is whether CWC/CW, now Blackstone, would even want ANY supermarket there right now. This is the EV, dorm land/"luxury condo" USA. Where dive bars are replaced by lounges where mixologists serve $19 cocktails served to parental funded Bros and OMGs and "at the Standard Hotel on the Bowery, a French-Moroccan woman named Annie Ohayon has been curating a semiregular music series in the airy penthouse."*

My bet is on a Walgreens. They could afford the rent, perfect for the dorm crowd as well since they don't cook. Chips, beer, and frozen food with some "healthy" items thrown in. Try to get a turkey from that kind of store.

*http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/08/nyregion/penthouse-underground-a-musical-series-at-the-standard-hotel-on-the-bowery.html


"I want to keep the supermarket there to. But that Associated is terrible."

Be carefull what you wish for.

Anonymous said...

How spoiled are we now that people complain about a nice normal grocery store that has served the neighborhood for years? I hear the same kind of stuff about bodegas. Would you rather have a 7-Eleven and an overpriced grocery chain? People who actually cook can go into an Associated I get what I really need to make a great meal. People who don't cook or or who have "special dietary needs" have tricked themselves into needing all these New Age grocery stores with foods that are not always healthier and that charge more for food doesn't taste any better, and sometimes worse, than what you can get at an Asociated.

Anonymous said...

The Associated is a very valuable resource for Seniors in the neighborhood, especially the homebound. They take phone orders and deliver. The staff (managers, cleaks and delivery people) have worked there for many years and know their customers as neighbors. If Blackstone is really concerned with preserving community, this supermarket is a great place to start.

Yes, there are bigger and fancier stores, but for the thousands and thousands of old school residents, this is what THEY need.

David said...

I live on 14th Street in Stuyvesant Town, am solidly middle class, and am raising two kids there with my wife. We are rent stabilized, crammed into a 1-bedroom -- my wife has lived there for 25 years, and me for 15.

In those 15 years, I have been in that Associated less than 30 times. It is a glorified bodega. The products are almost entirely low quality. I would be happy for that Associated to go, especially if it is being replaced by a better grocery store as the original article suggests.
As for the seniors, God bless them. But Stuyvesant town was built for middle class families. Notice all the playgrounds? It is not for 85 year old people to horde three-bedrooms for $475 a month. There's got to be a creative way to take care of the seniors, retain the family feel of the community as was intended, and let a business make a little money. It doesn't have to be one way or the other.

Oh, and nice use of "a quarter century" -- that sounds more dramatic than "since 1990."

Anonymous said...

Thought this was going to be a petition to have this terrible store removed. Keep a grocery store there yes but give someone else a shot. C Town, Key Foods, Fairway, Trader Joes come to mind.

Anonymous said...

David: Associated Supermarket has many more options than any of the finest bodagas. I agree that it has fewer pricey gourmet options that you might find at a Fairway, Westside, or Food Emporium or otherwise, but to outright dis them wholesale: you don't even shop there! DON'T ADD TO THE FIRE TO RUIN IT FOR THOSE OF US WHO DO. If you didn't want to share the community with the SENIORS WHO ALREADY LIVED THERE WHEN YOU MOVED IN then you and your family should have spread your wings elsewhere. It's NOT only seniors who need and want Associated to stick around. Just because you can't get your specialty child foods there doesn't make it bad for everyone. You have: WESTSIDE, FOOD EMPORIUM, TRADER JOE'S, WHOLEFOODS, UNION MARKET, and the GREEN MARKETS ALL WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE. Stop Whining.

Edmund Duunn said...

"David"

" It is not for 85 year old people to horde three-bedrooms for $475 a month."

This is BS. Where did you get that $ month rent amount? Out your ass? Funny how you hit on seniors but no mention of the 4-5 parental funded Bros and OMG's, many of them NYU students, crammed into an apartment that churn the apartments, destroy the affordability and the QOL. Any conflict of interest you wish to disclose? I guess THAT situation is OK by you. BTW, the 85 year olds fought for this country and or are widows of vets who did. What's your service record?

"In those 15 years, I have been in that Associated less than 30 times. It is a glorified bodega. The products are almost entirely low quality."

And again, this is BS. Major BS. BTW, full disclosure, where do you shop now? Again, any conflict of interest you wish to disclose? There are now 656 supporters of the petition (me included), many in the comments section who gave their real names and the valid reasons the store needs to stay.

Anonymous said...

David, you were doomed as soon as you said "solidly middle class".

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else heard the rumor that the new development on the corner of Avenue A and 14th Street is going to house a grocery store? A cashier at another business down the block told me that, and I was wondering if that had anything to do with the Sty Town owner trying to push out Associated.

Anonymous said...

What an ageist and classist rant David. I hope when you're a senior you're treated as a human being and not a collection of outdated stereotypes. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

I suspect that these dinosaur grocery store chains' (Associated, Key Food, Gristedes, Morton Williams, Food Emporium) days are numbered. They offer 20th century style grocery shopping at bloated prices. I always felt they exploit older people who either can't or refuse to go out of their way for groceries.

Good luck getting giant investment group to give a rat's ass about the needs of dwindling senior population, a lot of which are paying extremely low rents. Anyways if a company like Fairway were to move in, those seniors' needs would still be served, and much better at that. Fairway not only sells better stuff than the dinosaurs, they do it cheaper. Besides there are a lot of us in between the senior generations and the douche generations. We have needs too for fuck's sake. I agree with commenter David, I live here as well and have given that Associated a chance but for me it's useless.

Anonymous said...

I agree with David that Trader Joe's would be better.

Also, who are these people who purport to speak for seniors? What makes you think seniors want sub-par supermarkets?

bowboy said...

David, David, David. oh, so sorry my man, but you kinda asked for it. So well meaning, so wrong.

Edmund Dunn said...

"Fairway not only sells better stuff than the dinosaurs, they do it cheaper. "

No way is a Fairway going in that space (too small) at the rent that Blackstone will charge. And cheaper? I have been to the Kips Bay Fairway store at least 15 times, I like it, especially the produce section but cheaper, no way. BTW, Key Food is buying The Food Emporium at Union Square. so much for your dinosaur theory.

Anonymous said...

Most of those "seniors" in Sty-town were some of the original residents, GI's returning from the big war or possibly the generation which followed. These are the grandparents of many New Yorkers and not that they are in their 80's there suppose to do you all a favor and snuff themselves so you can have their 2 bedroom apartments?

If we are lucky we will make it too their age someday but the way things are going Manhattan will no longer be place to be a retired person with a fixed income.

As for complaining about this supermarket I can only assume most here are young enough to walk to Westside market , Whole Foods or Trader Joes, seniors are not.

Anonymous said...

David, a creative way to take care of seniors: Have them move to Antartica. With global warming, there will soon be liveable sections. Blackstone pays airlift costs, provides rent-free living pods and lifetime Amazon Prime membership with guaranteed next-day drone delivery.

Donnie Moder said...

The petition is reasonable and timely. Raise the rent, reasonably. If you know and have been inside this Associated and with that knowlege think it is wiorth keeping then sign the petition, otherwise, don't sign it.

Donnie Moder said...

Actually, Stuytown may have been built for families with young children but it was legislated do that by year 2000 for 85 year olds to horde apartments because that is how rent stabilizatuon laws were written. It gave and continues to give the original tenants the best bargain and biggest incentive to hold onto their apartments, their low rs rents. It has been that way for decades. It turned into a senior community of rent stabilized tenants not a middle class working class community, it is a senior non-working affordable housing conmunity, at least the liw rent apartments are.

blue glass said...

no way is associated more expensive than fairway. i can't tell you how many times i've walked through fairway when i'm "up there" in the kips bay neighborhood, and just returned my cart and walked out.
while they do have a good selection of expensive items, they do not have a good selection of sale items.
trader joes only carries their own brand, does not have free delivery (do they even deliver) and certainly does not take phone orders. their crisp produce and fruit do not last more than a few days and much of it is superior in appearance but not in taste (i am a very careful fan of TJs).
the reason there are so many choices in life (colors, fabrics, styles, etc) is because there are that many different people.
some of you commenters want everything to fit into one mold and leave room for folks that are different than you are (i refer to david and his ilk).

Edmund Dunn said...

Donnie, you kind of left out (I wonder why) the main reason for current RS tenants staying put, which was vacancy decontrol. Before vacancy decontrol, RS apartments turned over, slowly but they did. People needed bigger apartments for children, empty nesters downsized, etc. Now with vacancy decontrol, these apartments are lost to NYS RS law forever so people can’t move anywhere, including young people, for a shot at a RS affordable apartment based on their current needs without having loads of roommates. Thousands of RS apartments are lost every year to vacancy decontrol. I think we all know where REBNY stands on the NYS RS laws.

Anonymous said...

The "solidly middle class" family guy makes between $80,000 and $235,000. He's solidly middle class aight.

Anonymous said...

Trader Joe's, if they want the space. Associated is good if you only shop sale items. Still as posted above I'd bet on a Duane Reade because there are only 4,627* chain drugstores within walking distance.

*amount not confirmed.

Scuba Diva said...

At 6:52 PM blue glass aid:

"trader joes only carries their own brand, does not have free delivery (do they even deliver) and certainly does not take phone orders. "

Trader Joes has been saying for years that they'll deliver anywhere in Manhattan. I'm often saying to my roommate that we should put together an order and have it delivered—we live on the 6th floor—but instead, we're in there once, twice a week.

The delivery also isn't free, but is based on zones. However, I'm assuming you live within a mile of a TJ's—correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think it's a bad deal, but I prefer to limit myself to buying what I can carry at a time, and schlepping it home. This New York magazine article says they deliver from 10 AM to 10 PM.

And as far as a Trader Joe's moving into the Associated space: they'll only do it if it's below a certain rent; this is because they need to keep the prices on all their items below a certain price-point from store to store. As such, you won't ever see them moving into SoHo or Tribeca.

Anonymous said...

I shop at the Associated. It's not perfect, but it is convenient. I signed the petition, but let's be honest here-- petitioning landlords to do the right thing is futile. If we want change, we need legislation. The SMALL BUSINESS JOBS SURVIVAL ACT would save this grocery store by allowing a right to a lease renewal (something residential tenants have, but commercial tenants do not) The majority of City Council supports this bill. All Manhattan Council Members support this bill, except... Drum roll.... Dan Garodnick, recipient of about $300k from REBNY last election. If you want to really save the Associated, call Garodnick and ask him why he won't support the SBJSA that would save the Associated? 212-818-0580

Anonymous said...

if you are "solidly middle class" what in the world are you doing sponging off of your wifes 1 br apartment and raising your kids there? And you have the nerve to criticize seniors by insinuating that they are taking advantage and that they are dispensable.

Donnie Moder said...

You are harshing me out for no reason.

Anonymous said...

Is Associated really a "small business"? They have like 100 locations on the Eastern Seaboard.

Anonymous said...

@10:24, perhaps because despite being solidly middle class, it makes economic sense to cling to a RS apartment just as the seniors do? Depending on where/when you got in, it can be a lot more economically sensible than even buying. That's how you end up with a situation where you can have guys with basically a life long entitlement to live in one of the most expensive and in demand areas in the western world for peanuts even if they can't afford anything outside of that apartment.

It's utterly ridiculous to run the residential rental market under the same rules as a labor union where seniority trumps reality, and it will give rise to absurd situations where people will stay in an inappropriate apartment because the costs are just so skewed that it will offset the detriment. But at the same time, if he has a RS apartment, it would be stupid of him to ignore that reality, even if the rules that create the situation are themselves absurd.

Before you let your heart bleed all over your shoes, don't forget that owning and managing a building has costs that have to be paid by somebody. High costs. So, when you see someone that has been around for 15, 20, 30+ years paying a pittance in rent, don't be so quick to give yourself a high five that they've stuck it to the man. It just means YOU are picking up that piece, unless of course you are that guy in which case someone is carrying your weight for you. It doesn't make you a bad guy if you are, and you'd be a fool if you didn't take what is on offer. I wish I had people carrying my weight. But to have someone else paying your piece and be indignant about it is a bit much.

Donnie Moder said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

@3:39PM they may have locations all over the Eastern seaboard but this FRANCHISE is owned by a man who owns only 2 other stores. He used to own the MET on 3rd Ave. but already lost that one (which still sits empty) due to rentjacking. Many in Gramercy have yet to find an adequate replacement to do their regular, weekly shopping. So, it IS a Small Business.

That Dan Garodnick is the only Manhattan holdout to sign the SBJSA speaks volumes. That he has yet to address the situation Associated finds itself in after his having been returned to office by these very same StuyTown seniors already in a panic over it closing, is more telling about where his true interests lie than anything else. More than half of the City Council members have come out as a sponsor of the SBJSA but it has yet to come to a vote (the carriage horse ban vote was brought to a vote with only 9 sponsors); those who've not yet sponsored it repeat the REBNY talking points like the good little foot $oldiers they are. I'm looking at you Dan, you've had the documentation for many months, are yourself an attorney, and yet are still "unsure as to its legality?" Gimme a break. This is all about your East Midtown legacy and your loyal constituents be damned. Such a fine little $oldier you are.

blue glass said...

i called - Dan Garodnick's legislative guy said that Garodnick is supporting some kind of tax relief for small businesses - i did not want to go into a long back and forth with the guy,

so, great - if they can negotiate a lease and stay in business long enough to benefit from a non-existent tax break.
how about some rent protection/lease renewal - SOMETHING! - first?

people should certainly call Garodnick, but i think it won't do anything unless tons of people call.

Anonymous said...

it would be good for a grocery store to be there, but associated is awful. dump them, and let another store take it over.