The Associated Supermarket on 14th Street between Avenue A and First Avenue along the southern border of Stuy Town isn't expected to stay open for much longer this year.
Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk emailed residents with the news on Friday afternoon (thank you to the EVG readers who shared this):
We share the community's disappointment that after 26 years, Associated Supermarket on 14th street, has decided to close its doors.
Know that we have and will continue to work with Associated's owners in an effort to accommodate their needs, including offering free rent in an attempt to keep the store open through the holidays. But even with this offer, Associated cannot guarantee that the store will remain open through the end of the year.
The owners have told us that the competitive environment for supermarkets, both locally and online, have led them to this unfortunate decision.
As for "tomorrow", StuyTown Property Services is working on finding a new tenant with full understanding that a local grocery store is important to the community; but this will take some time.
We're grateful to the owners and employees of Associated Supermarket for serving the needs of the Stuyvesant Town community for over two decades.
So the Associated owners are chalking this up to "the competitive environment," which will become even more competitive once the Trader Joe's opens across 14th some time in 2020.
The Associated here has had a turbulent few years. In 2015, the current Stuy Town management reportedly tried to buy out the lease. A Morton Williams was set to takeover the space, but they backed out upon learning of Trader Joe's impending arrival. The owners of Associated were able to work out a new lease in 2017.
The area surrounding the supermarket has also been chewed up during the L-train rehab work that started here in the summer of 2017.
Updated 1:30 p.m.
Joseph Falzon, the store’s owner for the past 26 years, said a confluence of factors had cut business nearly in half and made it impossible to continue.
“We were very lucky to be open for a long time,” Falzon said. “Everything hit at once, like a perfect storm.”
Construction on 14th Street for the L train obscured the store with a 12-foot-tall fence, he explained, slowing business further just as the city’s minimum wage hit $15 an hour.
"I have people that have been with me a long time and make a lot more than that," Falzon said, but he added that the higher minimum wage increased payroll "quite a bit."
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
Report: Morton Williams will take over the Associated space on 14th Street (27 comments)
Report: Morton Williams won't be taking over the 14th Street Associated after all