WINDSOR TERRACE — The grocery store that closed last summer and left Windsor Terrace without a place to buy fresh food will reopen alongside the new Walgreens moving into the neighborhood, Walgreens officials announced Thursday.
That's good news for Windsor Terrace residents, who said the closure of the Key Food on Prospect Avenue and 11th Avenue made their neighborhood into a "food desert." After news broke that the national pharmacy chain Walgreens would replace the full-service grocery store, locals rallied in protest and vowed to boycott Walgreens.
Now Walgreens says it's come up with a solution: a full-service Key Food will share the 14,149 space with Walgreens, officials said in a statement released Thursday.
"Together, the two retailers will offer fresh produce, a butcher, a deli, dairy products, frozen foods, beverages, snacks, medications, health and beauty aids, toiletries, designer fragrances, greeting cards, small electronics and housewares," according to the statement.
A rendering provided by Walgreens shows that the pharmacy chain will take up about two-thirds of the space and the Key Food will have the remainder. Each store will have its own entrance.
The news came hours before Walgreens officials were due to present details of the new store to neighborhood residents at a public meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, State Assemblyman Jim Brennan and City Councilman Brad Lander praised the plan.
"I think any national retailer who wants to open a business here should look at what Walgreens has done in Windsor Terrace as a great example of how to respond to a community’s needs," Brennan said in a statement. "The work that Walgreens and Key Food have done to reach this agreement should be commended."
But Windsor Terrace resident Steve LeVine said he was still skeptical. He called the plan a "big step in the right direction," but said he would reserve judgment until after he's confident that the Key Food will have enough space to meet the neighborhood's "healthy lifestyle needs."
"[Walgreens] also should still understand that if what they offer doesn't meet those needs, along with being a good neighbor, they will still face organized opposition and boycotts," LeVine wrote in an email.