Home Second Avenue Subway The MTA saved a store just for me

The MTA saved a store just for me

by Benjamin Kabak

Good supermarkets are a rare find in New York City. Everyone knows where the gross Gristedes and crappy Key Foods are. But those quality supermarkets with low prices and varied selections are diamonds in the rough.

While Food Emporium hardly qualifies as a gourmet supermarket, two of these established were recently spared the wrecking ball on the Upper East Side. The MTA announced they were modifying some of the proposed plans for station entraces along Second Ave. to accommodate community requests to spare the supermarkets. The Sun has more:

Because of the high cost of acquiring the grocer’s retail space, as well as vocal community opposition to the plans, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has unveiled a redesigned station entrance so that it does not have to acquire any space along Second Avenue between 85th and 86th Streets that has been occupied by Food Emporium for almost a decade…

The redesigned station entrance , unveiled to a crowd of relieved Upper East Side residents a few weeks ago, would stand in front of the store instead of replacing it. The new station entrance includes two glass-paneled doors that would open onto a widened sidewalk in front of the store to accommodate foot traffic, officials said.

Another Food Emporium at 63rd Street and Third Avenue, which was to be converted into an escalator and ventilation facility for the subway line, has also been repositioned, a move that saves the supermarket as well as significant dollars for the MTA, a spokesman, Jeremy Soffin, said.

The MTA’s project Website notes the change. It also highlights how the Authority has recently purchased a building with both a Chase bank and a Duane Reade. This building may soon house a subway-related structure, saving the neighborhood from at least one Chase and one Duane Reade.

Meanwhile, David Liston, chair of Community Board 8, was thankful that the MTA opted to go the sensible route in sparing the supermarkets. “It was the source of tremendous relief for our neighborhood,” he said. “There’s no shortage here of high-end stores, but in terms of your basic supermarket with relatively affordable prices, we have very few.”

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Food Emporiums Saved From Second Avenue Subway at July 8, 2007 - 11:00 am

[…] Second Avenue Sagas points out that the MTA’s project website reflects the change and that the MTA bought a building that […]

J July 8, 2007 - 11:05 am

Uh, there is no Food Emporium on 2nd between 85th and 86th streets. It’s between 86th and 87th Streets.

The article in the Sun got it wrong. Too bad it’s so hard to research such things…

Benjamin Kabak July 8, 2007 - 9:56 pm

I think, J, the point remains. They spared the supermarket, as the project page noted. Whether it was on the southeast or west corner of the street is besides the point. Sure, it’s bad The Sun got the details wrong, but it’s not the end of the world. And it will happen again.

Todd July 8, 2007 - 10:20 pm

How great would it be if the MTA planned, I dunno, in advance for these things. Did they ever get around to finishing that map?

peter July 9, 2007 - 7:51 am

Now that the supermarket space – wherever it is – has been preserved, it will probably be sub-let to a combination Nail Salon/Starbucks/ATM…

Toocandid July 16, 2007 - 9:54 pm

Understand, the Sun hires junior reporters for very little money and works them hard in a vast room with poor climate control. They must meet daily deadlines, and so they spend their days on the phone, not in leisurely walks around the neighborhoods between East 86th and 87th. Sure, they’re going to get some (minor) details wrong. But readers are lucky and should be grateful that they write independent, orginal news without the fluff. Think about that next time you plunk down your quarter for all of that hard work.

Residents on 86th St. file suit over SAS entrances :: Second Ave. Sagas December 1, 2010 - 6:00 pm

[…] A few concerns drove the MTA’s design changes. First, the authority scaled back the SAS from three tracks to two, thus necessitating a new technical examination of the station layouts. Second, the authority had determined that a combination of temporary construction easements and physical plant demands would have resulted in the shuttering of the supermarket and extensive structural work on the building. (For more, check out my 2007 coverage.) […]


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