Former UWS Food Emporium Should Become Grocery Store, Neighbors Say
UPPER WEST SIDE — Residents living near the site of the former Food Emporium grocery store at West 68th Street and Broadway are begging for the space to become another large-scale grocery store.
"There are so many people in our neighborhood who can’t live without a full-size supermarket there," Pamela Motisi, a representative from the West 68th Street Block Association, told Community Board 7 Wednesday night.
The Food Emporium closed its doors May 4, and the store has sat empty ever since.
The block association is circulating a petition to neighbors asking that the landlord, Madison Capital, lease the space to a grocery store.
"[The landlord is] attempting to subdivide [the space]. There hasn’t been any interest so far from supermarkets," said a spokesman from the block association, who said they'd gathered 1,000 signatures so far.
Madison Capital did not return a request for comment.
Signage on the three-floor space — which offers a combined 28,000-square-feet — says that subdivisions will be considered. Winick Realty Group, the real estate firm marketing the property, declined to comment.
Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, Fairway, Citarella and West Side Market are all within 10 blocks in either direction.
Motisi said residents are seeking help wherever they can get it, and asked Community Board 7 for its support. The board did not pass any formal resolution, but directed the block association to the Business and Consumer Issues Committee for further help.
"The 68th Street block will work with all newly elected officials…to try to influence the placement of a new food site," she said.
Last April, Food City supermarket on the corner of Columbus and West 94th Street closed, despite Councilwoman Gale Brewer holding a rally to try to save the store.