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QNS/Photo by Brianna Ellis
QNS/Photo by Brianna Ellis
Only a desolate space remains where the Whitestone Waldbaum's used to be on 10th Avenue.

Public pressure is mounting to bring a supermarket back to the former Waldbaum’s location at the Whitestone Shopping Center, which closed six months ago and remains vacant.

During a We Love Whitestone town hall meeting on Wednesday night, state Senator Tony Avella encouraged the civic association and residents to sign a petition, which urges the property owners, The Feil Organization, to reserve the location for “any prospective supermarket,” he said.

A spokesperson of the Whitestone office of The Feil Organization told QNS that the company is still seeking a food retailer to take over the vacant supermarket at 153-01 10th Ave.

Some Whitestone residents speculate that a Trader Joe’s may be coming next, but a grocery store’s spokesperson, told QNS last month that Trader Joe’s was not pursuing the location.

Others predict that a Stop & Shop supermarket will surface. One worker at the mall, who wished to remain anonymous, told QNS that the property will be divided into a supermarket and a CVS Pharmacy.

“Well, I kind of miss it, but I heard they’re opening a Trader Joe’s,” said local resident Robert Smith, who reflected on the old Waldbaum’s. “It was nice to come in here and make my own sandwiches instead of coming to this crappy place,” he said while pointing at Subway. “None of these places have healthy drinks. Who wants to drink a soda?” Smith continued.

Waldbaum’s marked its stamp on the Whitestone community for more than 30 years before closing on Nov. 23 last year. It was the result of the demise of its parent company, the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), which filed for bankruptcy in July 2015.

Numerous supermarkets owned by A&P that operated under the PathMark or Waldbaum’s brands were sold to rival chains such as Stop & Shop and Key Food; other markets, such as the Whitestone Waldbaum’s, simply closed.

“Well it’s kind of an inconvenience,” shopper and Whitestone resident Jackie Davis remarked about the supermarket’s closing. “It’s close to our house but my husband does most of the shopping anyway. He’s more mad about it than I am.”

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