The Key Food Disconnect

Posted by Steve on Tue, 02/17/2009 - 12:26pm

In December, your wannabe Norm Abrams (me) tried a taste of old school investigative bloggerism and reported on the troubles with the construction of the new 69th Street Key Food supermarket. The local pols and press had been reporting that Key Food was on schedule for January opening. Problem is, I wasn't seeing any work being done on the place. Then the day after Christmas while walking the dogs by 244 Bay Ridge Avenue, I saw a stop work order from the Dept of Buildings plastered on the side of the building.

Everything must have worked itself out, or one would presume so, because on Feb 10, 2009, there was a post on City Councilman, Vincent Gentile's, blog announcing the long awaited completion date for the 69th Street Key Food Supermarket.

I want to update everyone with some good news: work on the site recently resumed, and the store is expected to open in the end of March. So in just a little over a month, Bay Ridge will have a new supermarket!

It must have been embarrassing when the day after Gentile's optimistic announcement the Department of Buildings issued a second stop work order on Key Food, this one for violating the first stop work order issued back in December.

What the heck is going on with this place? Apparently, the work that resumed on Key Food was also being done without a permit.

Suffice to say, it will take a miracle for Key Food to meet its revised March opening date when, according to the DoB's Property Profile Overview, the stop work order is still in effect a week later. I walked the dogs by the job site this morning and it was buttoned up tight with no work being done.

There are other questions about the new Key Food which haven't been answered except with vague hand wavings too, like what about parking?

As originally announced, a parking lot would be built across the street from Key Food in the old Harry's annex to accommodate this. But there's no work being done on that either. Presumably, that building would have to be razed because it's almost certain the existing structure can't handle the weight of thirty or forty cars.

What's going to happen to the traffic congestion on 69th Street if this Key Food opens without parking? It's a narrow but heavily used cross street for commercial traffic as well as three city bus lines. As it is now, it only takes one double parked truck to create a traffic jam.

No one wants this Key Food to open more than me but there seems to be a major disconnect between what the community is being told and what's actually going on. As of today, February 17, 2009:

Can we get some straight answers here?