Monday, August 2, 2010

☞ SHOP: A Pioneer Supermarket for The Lenox



Curbed just reported that The Lenox Condos' new commercial tenant at 129th and Lenox Avenue will be Pioneer Supermarket. Unlike the positive hoopla that surrounded Best Yet Market's opening at Soha 118, a couple of the condo owners at this Central Harlem building are not very happy about the situation since the new supermarket is not perceived as one of the better ones. At least it's more accessible than that expensive car dealership (lower photo) that was there before? Check out what some of the people in the condo are saying on Curbed: LINK. The new supermarket is set to open this November. Photos by Ulysses

18 comments:

  1. The same guys as on the Upper West Side? Mixed reviews here, but not all bad.

    http://www.yelp.com/biz/pioneer-supermarket-new-york-6

    What does this mean for the hypothetical Whole Foods on 125th?

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  2. When you moved to 129th & Lenox, you moved to the "ghet-toe". What did you expect? Check with the local NYPD and you'll learn 129th between Lenox and 5th is notorious (the local gang is in fact called the 129th Street gang, a block of tenements of mostly sec. 8. (no pride of ownership on the block). I guarantee you 75% of the business of this market will be the welfare card holders, you will see bottle and can collectors, the true nature of the immediate area will surface and congregate in front of that bldg. Bootleg cigarette sellers will hang out now in mass, you name it. These condo buyers were sold a pipe dream, if they never felt like they were in the ghetto before, just wait....just watch the values tank. Would any of you buy above a Pioneer?

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  3. This is GOOD news..;Any business in Harlem that will hire folks from the community is always GOOD! I hope it is a sign of things to come..as a small business owner, I know the limits as far as hiring folks when you are still growing. Big business brings employment.

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  4. My experience: Pioneer is a very low-end market. Unfortunately, the described scenario is all too possible.

    Reviews mean relatively little. I do not understand why people are not always honest when writing them. I stopped reading them after visiting restaurants that were clearly mediocre, yet had received at least one or two rave reviews.

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  5. Faria, surely you aren't listening to 'GhetOut', who has a pretty obvious agenda here.

    Anyway, I'm pretty sure there is one of these on 76th & Columbus, so surely it can't be all bad? I think this can be considered good news.

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  6. The Pioneer next to Lenox Terrace is disgusting. Smells. One can only hope that this one will be a bit better as it will be new.

    I quite liked the luxury car dealership. Beautiful cars and some gotta spend that drug $ someplace.

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  7. Chris, you are constant optimist and that is..... well sort of charming.

    Reality is though, a pioneer market on columbus in the uws is only acceptable because the patrons are generally conscious middle class types. It is kept at a minimum level of cleanliness, just enough, and the there is no congregation of locals loitering around outside. The pioneer that will evolve in Harlem is not a pretty thought. As much as I am cheerleader and fan of best yet, the reality is that people loiter on the cafe level, half the time the people working there seem kinda disinterested. And best yet is an upscale foodstore.

    This is kind of an unfortunate turn of events. It will negatively impact the prospect of a whole foods.....then again an empty storefront is no good either. It goes to show though it is going to be an uphill battle filling these store fronts with better stores.

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  8. Ha, that's one way of putting it BrownBetty :) But, yeah, sounds like this isn't exactly ideal. I used to live near a Gristedes and that was bad enough. Maybe these guys will make an effort since it will be brand new? Anyways, at least it isn't a bloody dollar store! Deal$ or whatever it is called. Ugh.

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  9. SupermarketCriticAugust 2, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Let's wait and see.

    Fine Fare is certainly on the lower end of NYC supermarket food chain, yet the location at 116th and Lenox is definitely an asset to the neighborhood, and not a detractor.

    "New" may trump "ghetto" in this case.

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  10. There is something called, "Degentriciation" , and that's all we're seeing. This is not a forward step for the risk takers who bought into that building, it's a backward step. If we're honest, we know not a single owner would have bought into that building if they knew 4 years later it remained 23% unsold and a Pioneer grocery store would occupy the ground floor level. A return of the old Harlem, degentrification.

    It reminds me of our lovely well heeled buyers of Harlem's most expensive condo, 111 CPN. If you recall, those buyers absolutely were not going to allow a McDonalds occupy their base level. No Effing Way! They fought the developer. You may recall this from The Real Deal.
    http://therealdeal.com/newyork/articles/111-central-park-north-in-harlem-residents-protest-mcdonald-s

    Can we be honest here friends? Many of the well heeled new arrivals to Harlem that invested in property love Harlem, but a certain Harlem, a Harlem of their vision, one might call it a "cleansed" Harlem where there's basically lovely architecture and open sky. I don't think they want "real Harlem", Fast Food, Greasy Chinese, a bit of dirt and filth, a clinic, and a robust lively poverty class of people, the ghetto, that gravitate and hover around Pioneers and McDonalds's.

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  11. On a similar note I recently too a long walk crisscrossing many of the side streets between 125th and 135th just to see what is going on, including the side streets flanking the Lenox Condos being discussed here. I was amazed as to the progress in terms of renovated brownstones on these side streets, a very high quality and some stunning restoration work including front areas, stoops and façade work. The side streets of Harlem are quietly shaping up to be some of the most beautiful streets in Manhattan. This is true to form of the gentrification of Harlem that did not begin with the arrival of condos but with the individual brownstoners that recognized the potential of Harlem and the condos followed on their coat tails. These same brownstoners it seems are still leading the way in terms of beautifying Harlem. It was also good to see the stoop culture still alive but what looked like new comers, some folks sitting out on their stoops maybe reading a book, I am still amazed how far this area has come.

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  12. What are you gonna do? The High-end car dealership went bust.Things could be worse.

    The Kalihari got a discount store.

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  13. Regarding the Whole Foods question, the social service properties around that specific site will be far more influential than a new Pioneer. I am sure this is under careful consideration as we speak.

    Chris, I was thinking about that Pioneer ! Not terrible, but ... even in that area, not great either. And BrownBetty makes excellent points. Pioneer will lack even the basic pretension of upscale-ness that Best Yet has.

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  14. I think this is a good idea. We need more grocery stores in Harlem. Everyone rips these small chains but they are the only ones serving are community. I find the Fine Fair at the end of my block to be an invaluable resource. These are also the places that make you feel part of the community.I’m sure the traffic will be worse with deliveries and people coming and going but we live in New York. What do you expect? I think it is a shame that the developer couldn't convince any of the other businesses to set up shop. Trader Joes would have been packed. Daffy’s or Filenes would have been awesome. All these companies are missing a huge opportunity.I'll take the Pioneer and be thankful they came.

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  15. Any word on the length of the lease...10yrs, 20yrs, etc.?

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  16. I visited the new Fine Fare at ACP and 145th last night. Its looks nice enough although the produce was pretty expensive for the quality.
    Don't recall if I've ever been in a Pioneer but I'll check it out if the price is right.

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  17. In all fairness, regardless of the location, food operations make bad neighbors.No matter how conscientious the store may be, they bring unwanted trash and often mice, roaches and other 4-legged creatures with their businesses.
    Many of the new condos will not rent their retail spaces to restaurants or food markets for that reason.

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  18. @westsider: Thanks for your post. Glad to see you noticed the good things happening in this area. I look forward to seeing ads that say, "highly desirable condo in beautiful brownstone neighborhood.." And I believe it will happen.

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