GOWANUS — Pathmark, one of the neighborhood's largest low-cost grocery stores, has been sold and the new owner doesn't plan to operate a supermarket there, according to the union representing many of the store's workers.
The Pathmark grocery store on 12th Street and Second Avenue was auctioned off recently during bankruptcy proceedings for the national chain A&P, which owns Pathmark.
The store's buyer, Manischevitz Family LLC, is a real estate company that doesn't want to keep a grocery store at the site, according to UFCW Local 1500, which represents some of the 125 UFCW members at the Pathmark.
A&P has been auctioning off its stores since filing for bankruptcy in July. Some other Pathmark stores, including the one in the Atlantic Terminal Mall, have been purchased by other grocery chains that plan to take over the spaces.
UFCW has been fighting in bankruptcy court to make sure those stores hire union workers, but the union announced Tuesday it had given up the battle to help workers at the Gowanus Pathmark and another store in Borough Park also auctioned off to Manischevitz Family LLC. The real estate company has "no desire to operate a supermarket in either of these two locations," the union said.
Manischevitz Family LLC could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
"Unfortunately for our members it means that the fight to keep these two locations open and operating as union supermarkets has officially ended," union officials announced Tuesday.
But the owner of the shopping center where the Gowanus Pathmark is located wants to keep a supermarket at the site and recently filed an objection in bankruptcy court asking Judge Robert D. Drain to allow the second-highest bidder, grocery chain ShopRite, take over, according to court documents.
City Councilman Brad Lander also wrote to the judge on Oct. 15, lending support to the shopping center owner. "I am eager to preserve this space as a supermarket, as it is a vital asset to many members of our community," Lander said in a letter to Drain.
As of Wednesday, the Gowanus Pathmark hadn't appeared on A&P's official list of stores that have been either sold or taken over by other supermarket chains. Store manager Ed Machado said workers were "riding the storm," waiting for word on what would become of the store.
"We're hanging on a string here," Machado said. "It's a sad thing — I'm 40 years with them."
Machado said customers were "outraged" about the possible loss of the 45,000-square-foot discount supermarket.
"The customers haven’t been very happy about it,” Machado said. “They need a supermarket to shop in in the area. There’s a Fairway and Whole Foods, but not everyone is into organics, and those stores are very high-priced.”
A spokesman for A&P declined to comment for this story.
A&P is the parent company to Pathmark, The Food Emporium, Waldbaums, SuperFresh and Food Basics. Here is its current list of New York City-area stores it confirms it has sold as part of its bankruptcy process:
Stores under the agreement with Ahold’s Stop & Shop Supermarket Co.
Pathmark (460 Franklin Avenue, Franklin Square, NY)
Pathmark (1720 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY)
Pathmark (2136 Bartow Avenue, Bronx, NY)
Pathmark (625 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)
Pathmark (2965 Cropsey Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)
Pathmark (134-40 Springfield Boulevard, Jamaica, NY)
Pathmark (92-10 Atlantic Avenue, Ozone Park, NY)
Pathmark (31-06 Farrington Street, Whitestone, NY)
Pathmark (1351 Forest Avenue, Staten Island, NY)
Pathmark (961 East 174th Street, Bronx, NY)
Waldbaums (905 Atlantic Avenue, Baldwin, NY)
Waldbaums (156-01 Cross Bay Boulevard, Howard Beach, NY)
Waldbaums (213-15 26th Avenue, Bay Terrace, NY)
Stores under the agreement with Key Food Stores Co-operative Inc.
A&P (5661 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx, NY)
Food Emporium (10 Union Square 14th & Park, New York, NY)
Pathmark (1525 Albany Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)
Waldbaums (196-35 Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, NY)
Waldbaums (35-09 Francis Lewis Boulevard, Bayside, NY)
Waldbaums (82-35 153rd Avenue, Howard Beach, NY)
Waldbaums (81-21 North Utrecht Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)
Waldbaums (75-55 31st Avenue, Jackson Heights, NY)
Waldbaums (2424 Flatbush Avenue, South Flatbush, NY)
Waldbaums (259-01 Union Turnpike, Glen Oaks, NY)
Waldbaums (375 Tompkins Avenue, Rosebank, NY)