Dec. 6, 2012 By Bill Parry
Jimmy Van Bramer, this district’s councilman, is holding a rally this evening calling on the landlord of the Foodtown on Greenpoint Avenue to renew the lease so the store will remain open.
Foodtown, located at 41-25 Greenpoint Ave., is schedule to close in the next two weeks after the landlord and the supermarket owner failed to come to an agreement to renew the lease.
“The landlord came up with a figure [proposed rent] that was not even close,” said Noah Katz, the owner of Foodtown. He essentially said “I want you to leave.”
The landlord, Jamal Hammad of Maysa Realty Corp., was unable to be reached. He has also not responded to Van Bramer’s office.
Van Bramer said the rally is also to show support for the 30-plus workers who will have to relocate to other Foodtown stores to keep their jobs. It also sends a message to the landlord that the people in the community want the market to stay open.
Van Bramer said his office has been inundated with e-mails and twitter messages from constituents when word of the supermarket’s closing became known.
However, Van Bramer conceded that the chances of the store remaining open are slim. “Yes, it’s a free market and the owner is free to do what he wants,” he said, “but it’s not right to gouge a business. That is a disservice to the community.”
Van Bramer adds that a letter airing his grievances has been sent to Hammad but he has yet to answer.
On Tuesday afternoon, Foodtown store manager Ashot Hyusyan said: “It’s very nice of the community to try and help. I hope the rally works but at this point you can’t get your hopes too high.”
Rally will take place between 6pm and 7 pm, Thursday, Dec. 6
Location: Foodtown, 41-05 Greenpoint Avenue (the corner of 42nd Street)