Rally Against Windsor Terrace Walgreens Draws Pols


An impressive array of politicians and about 200 residents protested yesterday in the parking lot of the now-defunct Key Foods at 589 Prospect Avenue in Windsor Terrace, the same date Walgreens’ lease on the spot started, reported Windsor Terrace-Kensington Patch and DNAinfo. Borough president Marty Markowitz, a Windsor Terrace resident, joined the rally, as did Councilman Brad Lander, State Assemblyman James Brennan and State Senator Kevin Parker. Locals are demanding a grocery store to replace the one that closed in June, the only supermarket in the neighborhood. In the meantime, they’ve been driving to Key Food on 5th Avenue and Fairway Market in Red Hook. Residents are calling for a boycott of Walgreens when it opens in the space, said NY1.
Windsor Terrace Sends Message to Walgreens [Patch]
Windsor Terrace to Walgreens: Stay Out of Our Neighborhood [DNAinfo]
Brooklyn Community Protests Walgreens Move to Supermarket Location [NY1]
Photo by Windsor Terrace-Kensington Patch

24 Comment

  • Why are we wasting our time with this?

  • daveinbedstuy

    Funny how people react. Isn’t it just Key Foods’ fault for leaving???? Why boycott Walgreens for taking the space.

  • This is so silly. Don’t get me wrong, if I lived in that neighborhood I would be upset, too. One can see how important a supermarket is to a dense community with lots of families. But this is a commercial business on a commercial property. Since when do we the citizens dictate what kind of legal businesses can come into a neighborhood? Instead of boycotting a company simply because Walgreen’s opportunity to expand why not identify other ways to bring a new supermarket to the area? The city did it with tax breaks and other incentives in Harlem, Bed Stuy and other communities, hence the big Pathmarks that opened. Why not do the same in Windsor Terrace if the need is there? When I lived in Midwood there was a Waldbaum’s on Nostrand Avenue. Despite being very popular and always having long lines at the check out it closed one day and a pharmacy moved in. Dems da breaks as they say in Brooklyn.

  • dittoburg

    Driving to Fairway for bags of groceries? Shouldn’t they be cycling?
    Selfish arses.

  • dittoburg

    Driving to Fairway for bags of groceries? Shouldn’t they be cycling?
    Selfish arses.

  • Is this really Walgreen’s fault? Why don’t you bother the greedy landlord, whose rent is probably too high for other grocery chains to compete?

  • Greenwood Heights would welcome Walgreens to the neighborhood. Please, please, please bring the very first drug store to our neighborhood. An idea spot would be somewhere on 4th Avenue between the 25th and 36th Street subway stops.

  • Marty “Atlantic Yards” Markowitz protesting a corporation from moving into a neighborhood is the height of chutzpah. Maybe it’s because he lives down that way? If only he had lived on Flatbush Avenue…maybe the Barclays Center wouldn’t have been built.

  • Yeah, it’s pure political grandstanding.

    Why are people pissed at Walgeen’s but not the former owner of Key Foods who simply sold out to the highest bidder and didn’t give a damn about what he left behind?

  • I’d rather buy foodstuffs than a Walgreens than Key Foods, personally. And can’t these people all afford FreshDirect anyway? There houses have like tripled in value the past 10 years.

    • My wife & I moved to WT 15 years ago before prices went out of whack. We’re both artists as are many of our friends and we can’t afford Faiirway. Just for the record, I ride my bike everyday to work and the grocery store and you’re hipster snobbishness sheens through.

  • North Crown Heights could use a Walgreens. What a useless protest. Don’t all these people shop at the Park Slope Food Co-Op anyway?!

  • North Crown Heights could use a Walgreens. What a useless protest. Don’t all these people shop at the Park Slope Food Co-Op anyway?!

  • I am shocked by the comments on this post. Clearly posters do not live in Windsor Terrace and have not talked with the neighbors deeply effected by the loss of the only neighborhood supermarket. Like the 80 year woman down the block from me with emphysema that does not drive and now must rely upon kind neighbors to get to a supermarket for her basic needs. Windsor Terrace is a small, isolated community without many amenities in walking distance. Many residence do not own cars, nor drive. In addition, Windsor Terrace already has two family owned pharmacies and it would be a blight on Prospect Park West if Walgreens forced them to close their doors. The Key Food, while not an ideal market, provided folks with basic fresh food needs. The community is annoyed and disappointed in Mr. Gehler’s greedy business decision and have sent him a letter. We have also reached out to Walgreens to help meet the needs of our community, especially our elderly. They have refused. While the lease is legal and that is part of free enterprise, so is our communities right to boycott. Raising our concerns in a public forum, including Walgreens part, is our right as Americans. Every day individuals make choices about where to shop, and some businesses go out of business as a result. Our community is committed to keeping a Supermarket in our neighborhood because it it best for our neighbors. You can fight and more important, you can win. You just need to try….

  • I am shocked by the comments on this post. Clearly posters do not live in Windsor Terrace and have not talked with the neighbors deeply effected by the loss of the only neighborhood supermarket. Like the 80 year woman down the block from me with emphysema that does not drive and now must rely upon kind neighbors to get to a supermarket for her basic needs. Windsor Terrace is a small, isolated community without many amenities in walking distance. Many residence do not own cars, nor drive. In addition, Windsor Terrace already has two family owned pharmacies and it would be a blight on Prospect Park West if Walgreens forced them to close their doors. The Key Food, while not an ideal market, provided folks with basic fresh food needs. The community is annoyed and disappointed in Mr. Gehler’s greedy business decision and have sent him a letter. We have also reached out to Walgreens to help meet the needs of our community, especially our elderly. They have refused. While the lease is legal and that is part of free enterprise, so is our communities right to boycott. Raising our concerns in a public forum, including Walgreens part, is our right as Americans. Every day individuals make choices about where to shop, and some businesses go out of business as a result. Our community is committed to keeping a Supermarket in our neighborhood because it it best for our neighbors. You can fight and more important, you can win. You just need to try….

  • If the commenters here are interested in why we are protesting, here are some simple facts:

    This is the only supermarket in the nieghborhood, others are at least a mile away.

    Many WT residents relied on Key Food as their main source of food. We shouldn’t have to get Fresh Direct in order to get the things we need but also it’s expensive and some residents might not know how to do it/feel comfortable ordering online.

    The only reason Walgreens is coming in instead of another supermarket is because the landlord wanted such a crazy amount of money up front that no supermarket he approached could afford it.

    They have a right to rent the space and we have a right to demand that they leave or boycott them until they go out of business. We want a supermarket at that location, not another drug store. (We already have two.)

    And the only reason Key Food closed is that the owner (who’s also the landlord) is in his 80s and wanted to retire. It is very much needed in the neighborhood.

    This is not a waste of time. It is important to the community. We need a supermarket.

    http://www.greenbeansnotwalgreens.org

    http://www.change.org/petitions/walgreens-don-t-turn-windsor-terrace-into-a-food-desert

  • If the commenters here are interested in why we are protesting, here are some simple facts:

    This is the only supermarket in the nieghborhood, others are at least a mile away.

    Many WT residents relied on Key Food as their main source of food. We shouldn’t have to get Fresh Direct in order to get the things we need but also it’s expensive and some residents might not know how to do it/feel comfortable ordering online.

    The only reason Walgreens is coming in instead of another supermarket is because the landlord wanted such a crazy amount of money up front that no supermarket he approached could afford it.

    They have a right to rent the space and we have a right to demand that they leave or boycott them until they go out of business. We want a supermarket at that location, not another drug store. (We already have two.)

    And the only reason Key Food closed is that the owner (who’s also the landlord) is in his 80s and wanted to retire. It is very much needed in the neighborhood.

    This is not a waste of time. It is important to the community. We need a supermarket.

    http://www.greenbeansnotwalgreens.org

    http://www.change.org/petitions/walgreens-don-t-turn-windsor-terrace-into-a-food-desert

  • This is an absurd protest, and these politicans should be embarassed.

    Key Food closed because it couldn’t afford the rent and was barely making money. Walgreens can pay the rent and thinks it will be more profitable.

    Obviously the community doesn’t desperately “need” a grocery store at this location, or they would have supported the previous tenant. There are plenty of other local options, as well as Freshdirect.

  • For all the fools criticizing from outside Windsor Terrace: yes, Walgreens has the right to occupy the space, the property owner has the right to lease to Walgreens, and at the same time, the neighbors have the absolute right to organize against any business that they want to. They say they want a supermarket, so protesting as a way of rallying support and making their needs known might be their best strategy. I wish them well.

    It’s called freedom of speech, trolls; try supporting it as much as you support individualist capitalism.

  • slopemope

    Lets not confuse the situation. The boycott arose out of spite after the core of this movement went to the politicians to have the deal blocked. When told there is nothing to be done (imagine, companies who are legit!), they recruited unsuspecting sheeple who like a good david vs goliath protest.

    About being important to the “Community” is an insult the majority.

    The slogan ‘Green Beans not Walgreens’ – with a fresh market on PPW that rivals Union Market – is rather revealing. Too expensive? What prices do you think the next highest bidding supermarket would be offering? Will you in turn boycott them and so on all the way down to C-Town?

    Furthermore, the programs available to needy seniors in New York City is unrivaled in the country.

    Ironically, the turnout of the latest “boycott rally” seemed to match the number of local residents who shopped at Key Foods.

    Is it really a shocking outcome Walgreens was the high bidder to lease the space?

    • You start off by requesting that we “not confuse the situation” and then go ahead and do that. The community around the Key Food, nor its employees, did not learn of the store closing until it was published in the press. Shocked, some to learn that the property would likely no longer be a full service supermarket, we looked into every option to see if the deal was final or not. In that process we learned that other supermarkets were interested, we started a grassroots effort to get what most in this community needs. To date we have collected boycott pledges from more than 1/3 of Windsor Terrace residence and many more are being collected. The politicians support our cause because their offices have been flooded with calls; supporting us does not benefit them. If C-Town or another supermarket moved in, we would welcome them with open arms.

      As far as the fruit storer on PPW, to claim that the store rivals Union Market is a joke. It is not a supermarket, it is a typical mom and pop fruit store with questionable quality and limited stock of items. Perfect convenient store, but that is it.

      With regard to our rally, I was there, and I am guessing you were not. We had over 200 residence show up at 10 AM on a weekday with signs to protest between downpours of rain. That is a pretty impressive showing for a small community in the middle of the summer.

      And shame on you for deferring our elderly people to city services instead of fighting for their right to shop at independent neighborhood supermarket. What was your point anyway? They are old, they should use public assistance?

      I don’t care if you don’t support our needs or have a different view, but don’t present misinformation as fact or attempt to present the individuals working this fight every day as “unsuspecting sheeple”. It is misguided anger and childish.