STUYVESANT TOWN — The soon-to-be owner of Stuy Town pledged to keep an affordable supermarket in the 14th Street space currently occupied by Associated.
Representatives of the buyer, Blackstone Group, made the commitment at a meeting with the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association on Thursday, days after thousands of neighbors signed petitions in the store and online calling for the firm to renew the lease with Associated.
Blackstone has heard tenants loud and clear on their need for access to a supermarket, according to a spokeswoman for the company, which is expected to close on the $5.3 billion purchase of the complex by the end of the year.
“We are absolutely committed to keeping a supermarket in that space with a similar price point to the Associated,” said Paula Chirhart, a public relations executive at Blackstone.
There is no guarantee, however, that the space will stay in the hands of the Associated, which has two more years on the lease, according to a spokesman for the store.
Joe Falzon, an owner of the supermarket said he met with CWCapital last summer in an attempt to begin negotiating a new lease, but was told they weren't interested in renewing the lease.
When news broke that Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village were changing hands to Blackstone, he saw an opportunity to underscore for the new owner how important the supermarket is to Stuy Town residents.
Shoppers who spoke with DNAinfo New York this week said losing the 14th Street supermarket would force people to trek farther, which would be a hardship for anyone with difficulty getting around. The second-nearest large grocery store is the Gristedes at 355 First Ave. between 21st and 22nd streets.
The quick response from Blackstone came as a welcome gesture to Susan Steinberg, president of the Stuy Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association, who said the firm’s willingness to listen is a stark departure from the previous owner.
“This is a new dawn as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “I have no reason to believe they wouldn’t honor this commitment.”