Another grocery store is expected to move into the space vacated by the closing of the Huntington Station Waldbaum’s.
Kimco Realty, which bought Huntington Turnpike Plaza last spring for $7.9 million from Centro Properties, said this week it is negotiating a lease to take the space of the Jericho Turnpike store. Waldbaum’s announced two weeks ago that the 40-year-old store will close.
While one Kimco employee said the firm had been in discussions with a replacement grocer for some time, Joshua Weinkranz, a Kimco vice president, said, “We’re looking at a regional grocer, a national retailer.” “We’re looking to put a tenant who will drive a lot of traffic, create a better shopping experience,” but declining to name the prospective tenant while lease negotiations are continuing.
“The store needed an investment, needed to be rehabbed,” Weinkranz said. “It’s a good site; good location; it’s got a lot of residents. The access is good, the visibility is great from the road. It’s why we purchased it; we always thought it could be better. We will make it a better site in terms of tenants.”
Weinkranz said the new tenant would be responsible for seeking new permits and renovating the site. He also said Kimco has signed a lease to take over a hair salon in the same center, one of eight tenants. There are no plans to expand the building itself, he said.
The state Labor Department said the Huntington Station store closing is expected to dislocate about 53 workers, among the estimated 320 workers affected by A&P’s decision to close six Long Island Waldbaum’s or Pathmark stores.
Under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification rules, the layoffs are expected to be completed by April 9, though many workers said they are hoping to be transferred to other stores.
Uncle Giuseppe’s, one of the stores some residents have mentioned as a possible tenant, said it was not moving in, though it was interested in Huntington at some point. Whole Foods also said it had no plans for that area and Fairway Market declined to answer specifics.
At the completion of the sale last March, Gary Gabriel of Cushman & Wakefield's Metropolitan Area Capital Markets Group, which handled the sale, said, "The grocery lease, which is well below market rent, is set to expire in the near term and presents a great value-add play," according to the web site NewYorkRealEstate. That provoked a reader to comment, "Say bye bye to Waldbaums when the rent goes up."