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Letter to the Editor: Windsor Terrace Residents Need a Grocery Store

By Lauren Elvers Collins and Ryan Lynch

The news of , and its replacement with a Walgreen's pharmacy, could be a huge blow for the health and pocketbooks of Windsor Terrace residents.

Having a full service grocery store within walking distance of the majority of our neighborhood was a key quality that made our community great, and this change could limit access to fresh and healthy food and potentially impact seniors and those without automobiles. If Key Food is not replaced with something similar, residents could very likely be faced with limited, and in many cases unaffordable, food options at local convenience stores and intermittent farmer's markets.

Unfortunately, this news could also negatively impact property values.

The NYC Department of City Planning has found that adding supermarkets to communities improves property values, and the Agency is actively promoting more supermarkets in underserved communities. The loss of Key Food would go directly against stated New York City policy.  A new Walgreen's will also put strain on local mom and pop institutions like Ballard and Oak Park Pharmacies.

While it appears that a lease has already been signed, we can still influence the type of store that exists in our community.  For example, over the past two years in Chicago, Walgreen's has changed its corporate model to include fresh produce in areas with few food options.

Let's make them go one further. Community Board 7 District Manager Jeremy Laufer, and our elected officials, including Assemblyman Jim Brennan, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Councilman Brad Lander, have been responsive to the public outcry on this issue and we urge them to work with Windsor Terrace residents and Walgreen's to ensure our new neighbor will be a grocery first, and a pharmacy second. If they are not interested in this option, Walgreen's should support a daily fresh market in its parking lot so Windsor Terrace residents can access fresh and affordable food throughout the week.

Doing so will not only ensure our community still has a basic amenity, it will also show that Walgreen's is interested in our community's well being and not just our dollars.

Lauren Elvers Collins
Co-Founder/Chair Windsor Terrace Alliance
Ryan Lynch
Member Brooklyn Community Board 7

bill maloney June 04, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I agree that communities need supermarkets, but the economics of the business is closing supermarkets all over the country. The profit margin is so slim that the chains can not pay the high rents being demanded by the buildings owners.
Bella Castro June 04, 2012 at 06:11 PM
It is an inconveinance for the elderly and other people as well, where is the closet grogery store, but now at rite aids, Walgreens and all these phramacies they do have food and produce I have been to Target for some grocery items that they do not carry in the Key Food that I shop at in my neigborhood
bottle collector June 04, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Where will all the people bring their bottles back now? I doubt Walgreens will have the machines
J.T. June 05, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Please stop turning our neighborhood into an extension of Park Slope! What we need is a Key Food supermarket, not a Walgreen's or an outdoor market.. Maybe if people would stop flooding our streets with "Fresh Direct" and "Whole Foods" trucks, and return to buying at our local market, we wouldn't be in this sad situation.
tom prendergast June 05, 2012 at 02:54 AM
windsor terrace has been determined to go green for years, well it finally has, but unfortunately it's Walgreen.
anndy June 05, 2012 at 01:45 PM
if people in the community don't like walgreens then don't shop there if the store has no customers it will leave why not start a community drive to pair up people with cars with the elderly who don't and go to pathmark together and help each other out it is possible to work together
Bella Castro June 05, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Anndy's comment is a good one take his advise, work together as a community
Andrea F. Rodrigues June 06, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Yes to Key Food, no to another high priced drug super store - I'm interested in food at reasonable prices with a convenient location as an added perk.
brooklynrhubarb July 09, 2012 at 05:36 PM
key food is the largest of its kind in this country... they could operate without a profit for years, and it wouldn't be a blip on their radar. sounds like they intend to come in, be a drugstore only, and wait it out until people forget, move on, move out or die. and unfortunately, its a plan that will likely work. Will everyone here still be boycotting it 4 years from now?
BRADY September 15, 2012 at 04:42 PM
the fault lies squarely with the seller not the buyer

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