June 11, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
A developer planning a high-rise luxury tower on the site of a Ridgewood supermarket will present his plans to the public for the first time tonight at a community forum.
The event, hosted by Council Member Antonio Reynoso and local advocacy group the Ridgewood Tenants Union, will take place at 6 p.m. at Learners and Leaders elementary school, located at 378 Seneca Ave.
Real estate developer Avery Hall is planning the high-rise tower for 1590 Gates Ave., the site of a Food Bazaar grocery store. While plans for the tower have not yet been made public, the Ridgewood Tenants Union is raising concerns about the potential loss of the affordable neighborhood grocery store.
Ridgewood residents have spoken out about losing valuable community resources, particularly grocery stores, to real estate developers in recent years. In 2018, residents held a rally opposing a proposed 27-story tower at another Food Bazaar, located at 452 Wyckoff Ave., just two blocks from the Gates Avenue site.
While Reynoso has not yet taken an official position on the new Avery Hall plans, according to a spokesperson, he spoke out on behalf of Ridgewood tenants at the 2018 rally against the Wyckoff Avenue proposal.
“We have to make sure we have a balance in these communities, that we are preserving the nature and character and people who helped build this, while also being inviting to new people,” Reynoso said at the rally.
The Gates Avenue site would not be Avery Hall’s first development on a property that was previously a grocery store. A two-building project by Avery Hall is currently underway in Park Slope, Brooklyn on the site of a former Key Food. Avery Hall has reportedly included a 22,000 square foot grocery store in the development’s plans, which is noticeably smaller than the 30,000-square-foot Key Food it will replace.
Avery Hall did not respond to requests for comment.