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Westside Market Fighting To Stay on West 77th Street

By Jackson Chen | August 16, 2017 12:22pm
 Residents stop by for groceries at West Side Market but also peer into the worrisome construction site next door.
Residents stop by for groceries at West Side Market but also peer into the worrisome construction site next door.
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DNAinfo/Jackson Chen

UPPER WEST SIDE — Neighborhood institution Westside Market is fighting a rent increase to stay at its 2171 Broadway location.

“Nothing’s guaranteed,” Ian Joskowitz, the local supermarket chain's chief operating officer, said of the negotiations with the current landlord, Triumph Hotels. “It’s a matter of hopefully we can come to an agreement with the landlord and we’ll stay for another 30 years.”

According Joskowitz, Westside Market has been on Broadway between West 76th and 77th Streets since 1979. The market renegotiated their lease in 1997 with the previous landlord for even more space, before Triumph Hotels took control several years ago. 

An advertisement for Westside Market's space notes that it will be available toward the end of 2017.

A spokesperson for Triumph Hotels confirmed that the negotiations were in progress, but neither Triumph nor Joskowitz would disclose the monthly rent figures that were being discussed.

Over the years, Westside Market has faced growing competition from nearby stores like Fairway’s on Broadway between West 74th and 75th Streets, Trader Joe’s a few blocks south on Broadway, and online grocery services, like FreshDirect and AmazonFresh.

Another outpost of Westside Market at 2840 Broadway, on the corner of West 110th Street, faced a similar situation, but Joskowitz, who is also a manager at the 2840 Broadway branch, said that a concerted effort from neighbors put pressure on the landlord to keep the market around.

Joskowitz is hoping for the same at the 2171 Broadway location, which he said has a “very strong and dedicated” customer base despite not being the chain's biggest or busiest location. Signs reading “Save Westside Market” were posted outside the store on Tuesday. “Maybe we’ll get the benefit of the doubt when the landlord sees we’re an important part of the neighborhood," Joskowitz added.

Larry Kaufman, a West 79th Street resident who’s been shopping at the 2171 location for five years, said he prefers the Westside Market to its competitors and their packed aisles.

“I would be unhappy if Fairway was the only one left here,” Kaufman said.