Whitestone residents are working together to ensure a supermarket takes over the previous Waldbaum’s location.
The storefront at 153-01 10th Ave. in Whitestone Plaza has been vacant since Waldbaum’s closed back in November 2015 after over 30 years of service, leaving many community members without a local market to shop for their groceries.
Nancy Mendlinger and several others Whitestone residents drafted and sent a petition to The Feil Organization — the developer who owns the shopping center — urging them to come to a lease agreement and bring a supermarket to the location.
“We do need something,” Mendlinger said. “Many of us have been asking all the different supermarkets to come into the neighborhood.”
Mendlinger was able to gather 133 signatures from Whitestone residents who feel the same way, and this Monday, Sept. 26, she sent them over to Feil Organization with a copy of the petition.
“We would like you to make offers to the supermarkets with incentives for them to want to rent your property and bring a supermarket back to the area,” the letter to Feil explained. “We really need a supermarket here and would appreciate your participation in maintaining our community.”
“This is a need for our quality of life in our community,” the letter continues. “We have many seniors that cannot drive or travel out of the town just to do their food shopping.”
Mendlinger said that this was perhaps the most important reason of all that a supermarket take over the space once more.
“We have a lot of seniors,” Mendlinger said. “There’s a lot of disabled people. There’s a lot of young people. We need a local supermarket.”
“I grew up in Whitestone. There’s always been several supermarkets at one time,” Mendlinger continued. “The only supermarket we have is the [Cross Island Shopping Center] Key Food. We need more than one supermarket.”
“We have heard rumors of North Shore Farms coming and find that to be a positive development if true,” the letter continues. “If not, we implore you to work with the community in finding another suitable supermarket type store.”
QNS reached out to North Shore Farms on Tuesday. Despite conflicting rumors that the supermarket chain was either no longer interested in the site or had signed a lease with Feil, a spokesperson for North Shore Farms said “nothing has changed.”
“We continue to consider several possible locations, including one in Whitestone, for our next store,” he said.