Troubles for the Prodigal Key Food?

Posted by Steve on Sat, 12/27/2008 - 12:48pm

Ever since the residents of north Bay Ridge lost their only convenient supermarket several years ago, the poorly managed Waldbaum's at 4th Ave and Senator Street, the neighborhood has been anxious for a store to replace it. Then last spring Key Food announced that it was closing its 95th St store which would leave Bay Ridge even more desperate for supermarket options.

But shortly after that disappointing Key Food announcement, there was a brighter one. Bensonhurst Key Food owner, Sammy Abed, announced that he would be opening a new Key Food in north Bay Ridge on the site of the old Harry's furniture stores on 69th Street off Third Ave.

There was much public and political celebration over the news. Finally, Bay Ridge would get another supermarket, and with convenient parking as well.

The "Coming Soon" banners went up along with the building permits and instructions for home delivery from Abed's Bensonhurst store. Although no official announcement was made, the grand opening was supposed to be early 2009.

But since then, there's been very little visible progress on the property.

In September I got a quick peek inside and saw that trenches had been cut in the concrete floor, probably to accommodate wiring and plumbing for refrigeration.

In November I got another quick look inside and saw that it looked exactly the same. Although I've seen one or two workers going into the place it seemed like nothing substantial was happening with the property besides more graffiti on the facade.

Therefore it was sort of ironic when I saw this today.

The day after Christmas, the Department of Buildings issued a Stop Work Order on construction at 242-244 Bay Ridge Ave (69th St). A check of the DOB site shows that the plans filed to merge these two properties back on July 24, 2008 had been denied. Apparently, unpermitted work continued so the DOB shut it down.

A check of the permit status of the new Key Food site shows an ominous banner message, STOP WORK ORDER EXISTS ON THIS PROPERTY.

So the status of the 69th Street Key Food appears to be, at least for the moment, in limbo.


Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on

Stop work orders are all too common and are not really indicative of much as regards the outcome of the project. nonetheless, thanks for the info, keep up the sleuthing...

any ideas on how they plan on having parking for 100 cars? I know they have the property across the street, but I still cannot see where 100 cars will fit

Posted by Steve on

What I find more curious is the snail's pace of the construction in general. When you're paying stiff commercial rent, you want to get the store earning ASAP. I've seen NJ mini-malls built in less time.

The stop work order led me to look at all the DOB filings today, which is what uncovered that permit denial to merge 242 and 244 back in July. I didn't find a reversal of that denial so I assume it's still in effect. Granted, I haven't seen the plans for the store but from the looks of the place it appears that 242 was intended to be Receiving for the store. The work on that space looks relatively fresh, which is probably what that stop work order was all about.

As regards parking, I don't see how they'll get a hundred cars in that old Harry's annex space without parking levels either.

I wish Sammy a lot of luck with this. These aren't problems he created. He's paying an architect and GC to prevent these things from happening.

Posted by Express bus rider (not verified) on

how does anyone in their right mind plan on getting cars in/out of a parking lot on a narrow two way street that is on the driving route of 4 separate bus lines, two of which (the x27 and x37) are express commuter buses to/from Manhattan? It takes enough time getting home now. I can just imagine the fun and games once a market is open. I plan on being one of those people calling my Senator, the Mayor, my Councilperson and the cops the VERY FIRST TIME double parking becomes an issue. THIS IS NOT a good location for this type of market.

Posted by Steve on

Not sure where I read it but the intent is to add a traffic light mid-block, not just to let cars get in and out of the lot but also so pedestrians will be able to cross the street from the lot to the store. Hopefully, it will be timed with the traffic lights at 3rd Ave and at Ridge.

Of course, if the lot is full all bets are off. I suspect there will be a No Parking zone from 3rd Ave down to the lot entrance and v.v. from Ridge to the lot entrance.