Community activists Ryan Lynch and Lauren Elvers Collins distributed an update today to answer the community's questions about the opening of Key Food at 589 Prospect Avenue, between 10th and 11th avenues.
On Oct. 15, 2014, several community representatives behind the movement to urge Walgreens to share their Prospect Ave. space with a new Key Food met with Walgreens, the owner of the incoming Key Food, and reps from the offices of Councilmember Brad Lander and Assemblymember Jim Brennan. They toured both stores but were primarily focused on the status of the Key Food and gathering information to share with the Windsor Terrace community. Following are updates on the Key Food part of the property:When will the Key Food open?Owner Joe (who also operates a clean, well-stocked Key Food in Sunnyside, Queens which several community residents toured last year) is hoping for an opening by the end of 2014 but it is more likely to open in the first couple of months of 2015. He is possibly more eager than any of us to get the store opened and is doing everything he can but it is now in the hands of the permitting agencies (see below).Why the delays?Joe is doing a lot of upgrades, including convincing Walgreens to give up several parking spaces in exchange for increasing the size of Key Food's front, glassed-in produce area and is arranging for more power to operate the store's cases and other equipment.
Joe assured us that all permits have been filed but he now has to wait to be inspected and will have to go through the permitting process. WIth Brad Lander, Jim Brennan, Borough President Eric Adams (and former Borough President Marty Markowitz who now has a prominent role with the City's marketing department) advocating for the project, we're confident that any of them will be quick to help speed any delays in inspections.Layout of the store:The actual selling area of the old Key Food was 7,800 sf. The new store will be smaller at 6,000 sf but Joe is trying to make up for this with more departments and by moving some non-retail activities to the basement. This also adds to permitting requirements (for example, he will be storing more items in the basement meaning installation of an elevator to move merchandise to the selling floor).
Store will include a seafood section stocked by the same seller who provides for the green market at PS 154, a 100' dairy case, 60' meat case, 50' deli and prepared food counter, pizza station and pasta station.Lighting:Lighting of Key Food will be turned off at 10pm. (Note: lighting of the red Walgreens "W" will stay on.)Hiring:Joe is following Walgreens' lead in trying to hire locally and is reaching out to former Key Food employees as possible hires.Planned Hours of Operation:7am - 10pm (Note: Walgreens is open 8am - 10pm)We will share updates as they come.
Best,Ryan Lynch and Lauren Elvers Collins