Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fairway Coming! (Not to the Bronx of course, but pretty close.)

The ever-popular Fairway supermarket will be opening a new store soon. Don't worry Morton Williams, they're not moving into the Kingsbridge Armory, but just north of the Bronx in Pelham Manor instead.

Fairway is in the process of setting up shop at Post Road Plaza, which is located on Boston Road at Pelham Parkway/Route 70, right by the Hutch. That means we'll have a new grocery store option about as close as you can get to the Bronx without actually being in the Bronx. This is great news for Bronxites with cars, as well as those in the Co-Op City and Pelham Bay areas.

I've never actually shopped in a Fairway supermarket, but I've heard great things about them. Supposedly their selection with hard-to-get specialty items is quite impressive, which unfortunately means their prices aren't super cheap. I'd be willing to pay a little more for quality items if the shopping experience was really pleasant (i.e., wide aisles free of piles of stock boxes, quick and efficient checkout, wide selection of products).

All the I found online said the store is opening in 2009, but I seriously doubt that because we only have 3 weeks left in the year. In any case, we are excited to hear of quality grocery store option opening nearby.

Click here and here to read all about it.

~ErLu

15 comments:

Kim said...

Now if only FreshDirect and Peapod would deliver to the Bronx. (Outside of Riverdale, that is.)

Anonymous said...

Fairway is a shopper's paradise, but it's pricey. Great for a splurge or for shoppers who can limit their purchases to the specials.

Boogiedowner said...

Nice point, Kim. Do they really both deliver to Riverdale? I didn't know that. Frustrating!

Kim said...

FreshDirect does. Peapod doesn't deign to come into the Bronx at all, which is so frustrating. Especially when you live as close to the Westchester border as I do. They stop deliveries about 5 minutes away.

Jojo said...

Fairway is like whole foods, but less expensive.

The Fairway on 129th St & Broadway is always packed. I love going there, but its torture getting around in the store.

Anonymous said...

I was told by the Cornell Carpet Company which is directly across the street from the new Fairway in Pelham that the new store is scheduled to open in the late winter or early spring of 2010.

bxjon said...

Its also worth noting that this store will open with union workers making a living wage and very respectable benefits - not only great food, but good for the workers and broader community. Exactly the type of business I'd love to have in the Bronx...

Anonymous said...

Re: bxjon, Isn't it great that this business can open up without squables about wages, and community opposition, not to mention policians grandstanding. No wonder they opened just outside of The Bronx. Now if we could just get a Trader Joes over here.

bxjon said...

Anon - by all accounts they are opening this store without any public subsidy, tax breaks or special deals. When a company, e.g. Related, is extracting massive city subsidies and concessions it seems quite warranted that there should significant community benefit, and their attempts to give none should be publicly exposed and opposed by any reasonable means. Unfortunately, I see a lot more elected officials rolling over to moneyed interests than standing up for their constituents' interests...

And perhaps if heavily city-subsidized businesses paid more to their workers and increased local purchasing power, businesses like Fairway or Trader Joe's might look more favorably on the area..

Jay Shuffield said...

I think there is a lot of misconception about the notion of "subsidies" for the Armory.

First, any supermarket moving into the Armory would see zero subsidy. The developer would charge a market rate rental, so the concessions made to the developer do not translate into any competitive advantage for a new supermarket at all.

Then there is the issue of the "subsidies" for the developer.
This is a complex financial negotiation for an encumbered site. The City is trying to sell a landmark that is in rough shape and needs a lot of renovations to bring it up to the standards required by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. This is actually not too different from the way a typical person would sell their house.

For example, if you were selling a house that had old appliances that needed to be replaced, holes in the walls that needed to be repaired, and old electric wiring that needed to be entirely replaced, the buyer would either ask you to make the improvements or make a financial concession. That wouldn't typically be called a "subsidy," it's just a typical part of a real estate negotiation.

It is also worth considering that the City currently incurs costs for the ongoing maintenance of the building. There would be immediate savings to the taxpayers simply by relieving the City of the need to keep the building from deteriorating even more. (Or conversely, if it were allowed to deteriorates more, its value for any potential deal would be even lower, requiring more concessions later...)

Then there is the investment aspect of the City's concessions. By making it possible for new retail to open sooner, the City brings in more money through taxes. Currently, New York City loses a significant amount of potential sales taxes to Westchester County because so many Bronx residents leave the borough for their shopping needs. The sooner the City can open competitive retail, the sooner it expects to begin collecting taxes to support the public benefits provided by municipal services.

So - it's complicated. I don't know how well the City is negotiating. Perhaps they are giving away too much without getting enough in return. I can't really say. But the casual use of the word "subsidy" obscures the real issues.

Jay Shuffield said...

Since I went ahead and stepped into this, I might as well finish the story...

If you assume the City is negotiating for a good return for the City, the real question is how equitably the benefits are distributed.

There is a strong argument for this neighborhood to receive specific local benefits, rather than dumping it all into the General Fund. This neighborhood will deal with the impacts of construction, and it has not historically enjoyed the same quality of City services as other areas. The benefits really shouldn't consist primarily of sales taxes deposited into the General Fund, where they will likely be spent in more politically-connected parts of the city.

It is important to recognize that providing the benefits for the local community is for the City to take less in revenue for the General Fund. This reduction in payments into the General Fund is not a "subsidy," but rather a different way of structuring the deal.

Guywithacause said...

Well said Jay S. The bulk of the problem with such a development in the Bronx is that the Democratic political machine comes into play, and basically tries to extort businesses, or shames them for their own political gain.

They spew rhetoric to the ignorant masses and grandstand with the hoardes to make it seem like they have a "mandate" of sorts, when the reality is these politicians are fabricating a "movement" to grandstand, get their names in the paper as "on the people's side" and amass votes/goodwill.

This has been the primary reason why businesses have overlooked the Bronx, despite the bottom of the barrel rents and long list of tax incentives. It is also the prime reason why the Bronx has remained stubbornly poor/segregated; This is the Democratic machine's last outpost, and they intend to keep their borough as poor/uneducated/victimized as possible because it ensures a Democratic victory year after year.

I would LOVE to have a Fairways, as much as I would LOVE to have most other amenities many other people in the city have and take for granted. Unfortunately politicians demonize such amenities and shun them (directly or indirectly) from entering the Bronx because it is a sign of things to come: CHANGE. You have seen it with the Armory redevelopment, and you will no doubt see it again so long as these career politicians are in power looking out for thier own best interests.

Amalia said...

The Fairway in Harlem along the West Side Highway doesn't have the wide isles and the box free areas you like and my shopping experience was a mix of confusion (the isles are like being lost in a corn maze in the midwest and some areas are not wide enough for 2 carts), excitement at the variety to be found, quality was hit or miss, service was non existant, shoppers were rude and the check out was a nightmare. Never again! I am however, looking forward to the Fairway in Pelham Manor. I live very close and I would like to have a place with the variety that Fairway is legendary for. Stew Leonards in Yonkers is relatively close, has good meat and great produce but is very pricey. Arthur Avenue is also close and has great selection for when I need my Italian style fix. My local Finefare has a more Carribean flavor to it and can be quiet entertaining as they Blast Reggae or Latin music like you are in a club. I wouldn't touch the fish or meat with a 10 foot pole but for fresh fruit and a quick gallon of milk pick up with Reggae vibe isn't bad in a pinch.

Anonymous said...

Yankee Fan 170
The fairway in pelham manor is to open in March 2010. I look forward to an additonal shopping option. However, if it is anything like the BJ's that opened up just around the corner, then it too may be an uncomfortable experience once word gets out to the masses and you will have to decide if it is truly worth it.

Regina said...

I am so exciting about this. I'll be waiting for news on its official opening date. Thanks for posting this.