By Carlotta Mohamed
A Whitestone supermarket that was slated to open in October still isn’t ready, though the end is finally in sight.
North Shore Farms’ newest location at Whitestone Plaza doesn’t have an opening day scheduled yet due to a number of complications, according to spokesman George Tsiatis.
“There hasn’t been a specific delay. We do our best to estimate when we’ll be able to get the stores open, but it all depends on a whole variety of factors,” said Tsiatis. “We need to make sure the store is ready to go, and ready to put the best foot forward for the store, something that reflects what North Shore Farms is.”
The supermarket, which features locally sourced foods at affordable prices, will occupy 23,818 square feet at the mall on 153rd Street and 10th Avenue. It’s the first North Shore Farms location in the borough.
The chain first announced in October 2016 it would open in Whitestone after months of speculation in the community about what would happen with the site. The storefront was originally slated for a June opening, but residents had to wait a bit longer to the since-extended October start date.
The first stages of construction on the location began in September 2016. Upgrades included new insulation systems, a refurbishing of the existing interior and exterior, and restoration of the parking lot.
“We pretty much had to replace everything inside the store, that includes wires and everything else,” said Tsiatis. “We really went through and had to change all of the electrical. I have to check if the inspections are done, but we’re nearing completion and trying to get it done as quickly as possible.”
After Waldbaum’s supermarket closed at the Whitestone site in November 2015, locals were left without a neighborhood grocer. Residents had drafted a petition for a new supermarket and delivered it to the Feil Organization, the owner of the shopping center.
Tsiatis said within a couple of days there should be a specific opening date, adding that they’re currently accepting applications for employment at the store.
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha