ST. GEORGE — The first supermarket is set to open in St. George — something residents have been deperate to get in the neighborhood for years.
The neighborhood was characterized as a "food desert" by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer in 2009, the New York Daily News reported, and residents have repeatedly asked for a supermarket to be built there.
"Ask anyone in St. George what they need here most and they'll say, 'a supermarket,'" said Theo Dorian, president of the St. George Civic Association.
"To get a Fine Fare in this perfect, central location is the best kind of news. This area is in serious need of a good source for fresh produce, seafood and baked goods."
At recent public meetings about the New York Wheel and Harbor Common outlet mall, residents were quick to ask the developers for help bringing a supermarket to the neighborhood, even though both projects didn’t call for one.
“I’m putting in a personal plea for a grocery store,” a resident told developers at this month's St. George Civic Association meeting.
Dorian said that its proximity to the Staten Island Railroad Tompkinsville stop and centralized location will make it a big draw for residents without cars in the neighborhood.
The supermarket will also have valet parking for shoppers and feature a grocery, a gourmet deli, a bakery, a full-service fish and butcher shop and a prepared foods section, a company spokesman said.
Fine Fare already has nearly 60 supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, though the first Staten Island location will be close to owners Mofeed Said, who has lived in the borough for 15 years.
"We’re happy to have the opportunity to serve our fellow Staten Island residents with fresh quality foods at competitive prices and are looking forward to being a part of the exciting resurgence of St. George," Said said.
"We’re already receiving positive feedback as people are excited that we’re coming to the neighborhood.”
The supermarket will rent nearly over 10,000 square-feet at the ground floor of The Pointe, one of several developments stalled in the neighborhood after the housing market crashed.
The Pointe was nearly completed when developer Leib Puretz defaulted on his loans in 2009, Crain's New York reported.
Meadow Partners purchased the loans earlier this year, as well as at nearby building The Pearl, and has attracted plenty of interest from tenants, said Jacqueline Urgo, president of The Marketing Directors which is the sales agent.
Currently, over 50% of the 57-units in the Pointe have sold, the release said.
Leasing agent for the building, James Prendamano of Casandra Properties, said it's another sign of life in the neighborhood.
"They provide the exact type of service residents of St. George have been requesting for years," James Prendamano said. "Their willingness to locate here further supports the notion that St. George is the place to be in coming years."
Fine Fares expects to open on Staten Island in April 2013.