By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A beloved neighborhood store whose impending demolition spurred Upper West Siders to rally in its defense has reportedly been saved from destruction.
The West Side Spirit reported that Columbus Natural Foods at West 95th Street and Columbus Avenue has been spared from the wrecking ball after landlord The Witkoff Group dropped plans to renovate its building.
Neighbors feared the renovation project would push out the beloved health food store that's been in business for 17 years.
Nearby residents see Columbus Natural Foods as the type of mom-and-pop shop that's been threatened with extinction on the Upper West Side as big-box retailers move in.
A Whole Foods opened last year just a few blocks away at nearby retail complex Columbus Square.
Neighbors gathered nearly 4,000 signatures supporting Columbus Natural Foods in its battle against the proposed renovation.
Community Board 7 voted against The Witkoff Group's renovation plans in June, but the city's planning commission had the final say on the issue.
The Witkoff Group and Columbus Natural Foods could not be reached immediately for a comment.