Fairway coming to Bergen Beach-Georgetown area

Fairway Market, the New York supermarket chain that boasts being “Like No Other Market,” will be opening a new downsized location in the Georgetown Shopping Center in Bergen Beach by late May or early June of next year, according to Supermarket News.

The chain signed a 20-year lease for 40,000-square-feet at 2149 Ralph Ave., which is currently being occupied by a Waldbaum’s supermarket.

“Georgetown is a great place to have a store,” said City Councilmember Alan Maisel, “There are a lot of people who may find Fairway an attractive place to shop.”

Community members are excited about having a Fairway supermarket replace Waldbaum’s.

“I haven’t heard any comments from members of the community, but the Waldbaum supermarket was on the decline; it was deteriorating,” said Sol Needle, chairperson of Community Board 18. “Fairway is a good store.”

“I think it will create more jobs in the community,” said Gardy Brazela, president of the Friends United Block Association in Canarsie.

The new store will be Fairway’s second Brooklyn location, according to The Real Deal, which first reported news of the lease.

“We are excited about the announcement of the new Fairway Market located in a densely populated submarket with ample parking in a dynamic section of Brooklyn,” said Jack Murphy, Fairway’s chief executive officer, in a report about the company’s fourth-quarter 2014 finances. “This location will be the prototype for our new store model.”

Fairway Group Holdings Corp. recruited Murphy last September as CEO in hopes of changing the company’s bottom line, after opening an IPO in 2013, which was meant to generate enough money to fund an aggressive expansion plan, resulted in financial losses, according to Crain’s.

After terminating a lease at Manhattan’s high-profile Hudson Yards project and changing ambitious plans for a 52,000-square-foot Tribeca opening early this year, Fairway decided that the best place for it to build would be in the quiet southeastern portion of Brooklyn, home to many low-rise residential communities. The new store will cost less to build and operate than most Fairway stores, according to Supermarket News.

“It will have a smaller footprint and lower cost structure than our existing stores with the same broad offering of fresh, specialty, organic and conventional products,” Murphy said.

The chain will be sure to downscale where deemed appropriate without compromising on any of the products they offer. For example, instead of the new Georgetown store having Fairway’s customary hand-laid tile floors it will have a simple polished concrete finish, a cutback that can save the supermarket chain $600,000 to $800,000, according to Supermarket News.

“We have also spent a lot of time designing a more capital efficient store and believe that we can build this store with a lower cost per square foot than our existing locations,” Murphy said in the report.

Murphy said that the company is now aiming to build stores for $200 to $210 per square foot, instead of the $275 to $300 per square foot it is accustomed to spending, according to Supermarket News.

This new store will be Fairway’s eighth location in the five boroughs. So far, there are five Manhattan locations, one Brooklyn location in Red Hook and a Queens location in Douglaston.

“We will continue to remain focused on searching for high quality locations which we believe will be accretive to our long term growth strategy,” Murphy said.


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