[EVG file photo]
It appears that Blackstone, Stuy Town's new ownership, will keep an affordable grocery store on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue — it just won't be an Associated, though.
Town & Village reports that a Morton Williams will be taking over the space.
While no one at Blackstone would confirm the news, employees at the Associated, which has been here the past 25 years, received letters informing them that Morton Williams is coming here later this year.
According to one employee, the letter says workers, who are unionized, will get to keep their jobs for at least three months and at that point will be evaluated.
"They have a big company and room to grow," the worker said the letter from Morton Williams informed them.
The family-run Morton Williams, which started in 1946, has 15 locations in the city, including two not far from Stuy Town — one on Park Avenue South and 22nd Street and another on 23rd Street in the East Midtown Plaza.
This marks the third of four grocery stores that principal owner Joseph Falzon and his team will have had to vacate. The Associated at 255 W. 14th St. between Seventh Avenue and Eighth Avenue closed last May after landlord Pan Am Equities reportedly increased the rent by $168,000 — a month. Their Met Foods on Third Avenue between 16th Street and 17th Street closed in April 2015. They also run the Associated on Avenue C at Eighth Street, though Falzon said that store "is very low volume."
Falzon wanted a lease renewal on 14th Street in order to renovate the store. However, Stuy Town management wasn't offering a lease, which is up toward the end of 2017. Associated is currently paying $60,000 a month here, per T&V.
Said Falzon: "I'm very sorry we couldn’t reach a deal and we want to thank our customers for supporting us all these years. Everything’s coming to an end. Rents in New York right now are not very favorable to small business owners."
Morton Williams will reportedly not sign a lease now with the arrival of a Trader Joe's across the street.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Report: Associated owners not having any luck shopping for a lease renewal on East 14th Street (34 comments)
Petition drive underway to help save the Stuy Town Associated on East 14th Street
Report: New Stuy Town owner pledges to keep a grocery story on East 14th Street, but it may not be Associated