Neighborhood needs Key Food to stay
May 14, 2019 | 8300 views | 0 0 comments | 593 593 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Like many neighborhoods in Queens, Astoria has seen its fair share of changes. But for over five decades, one thing has remained a constant: the Key Food on 31st Street.

Generations of families have relied on this supermarket for quality produce, fresh deli meats and regular grocery shopping.

Just steps from the Ditmars Boulevard train station, this centrally located Key Food is convenient for working families who need to shop after work.

Most employees there are not only unionized, but many have worked there for decades. They have built a rapport with the customers.

All of that could come to an end if the building landlord, Brooklyn-based Jenel Management, follows through on its plan to raze a row of stores on 31st Street, including Key Food, to build a new three-story commercial building anchored by a Target.

There has been some fingerpointing about whose fault it is that Key Food may shutter. Jenel’s representatives say they tried to negotiate an offer, but Key Food walked away.

Local elected officials and unions stand by Key Food and their employees, and call on the landlord to work out a solution.

It may seem inevitable that Target will come to Astoria. This has been in the works for years, ever since the retail giant decided to expand its presence in New York City.

In Elmhurst, activists have fought against Target’s arrival for years. They challenged the zoning of the proposed site, and are now awaiting a BSA hearing. No such effort has been made in Astoria.

But if elected officials, activists or residents can’t stop Target, they can still fight to keep Key Food and the union jobs in Astoria.

Jenel Management needs to strike a deal to keep Key Food, a neighborhood staple, for the foreseeable future.
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