EAST HARLEM — A new supermarket is opening at the base of a new residential building on East 121st Street following a rash of grocery store closures in the neighborhood in recent years.
A&J Supermarket Corp. plans to open in a 12,000-square-foot retail space at 2211 Third Ave., a forthcoming 10-story, 108-unit luxury rental building, officials said.
The name of the store will be Super Fi Emporium, which is owned by locals who also operate a supermarket of the same name at 1635 Lexington Ave. It is set to open within the next year, officials noted.
The total cost of the project is roughly $11 million, and the city’s Economic Development Corporation is asking the board of the Industrial Development Agency to back the project with roughly $1 million in tax credits. A vote on the request is expected next week.
The project is also receiving assistance from the Food Retail Expansion to Support Health program, or FRESH, operated through the city’s Industrial Development Agency, which gives zoning and financial incentives to help local grocers bring affordable, healthy food to neighborhoods, officials said.
News of the supermarket comes amid a number of grocery store closures in the neighborhood over the years.
“The second location will significantly boost the quality of life for community residents, fill a long-time neighborhood supermarket void," said James Patchett, the EDC president. "Through strategic programs like FRESH, NYCEDC continues to facilitate access to fresh and healthy foods at affordable prices in New York City’s most underserved communities.”
Last year, community members and elected officials lobbied unsuccessfully to stop the closure of a City Fresh Supermarket on 116th Street and Lexington Avenue.
Meanwhile, the site of former Pathmark Supermarket on 125th Street and Lexington Avenue has been languishing for years since its controversial closure and sale in 2015.
The city hopes the new supermarket will close the gap created by the closures.
“We see this as being a really important and prime location for a store that will help and serve the community,” said Tida Infahsaeng, a program manager for FRESH.
The supermarket is estimated to bring 46 full-time jobs, paying $15 an hour, officials said.