Key Food Is Back After Two-Year Closure to Build Apartments on Myrtle in Clinton Hill

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    It’s here! A much-needed full-line supermarket reopened at 490 Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill Friday, after closing two years ago to make way for construction.

    A wave of development has been closing grocery stores in the area, leaving shoppers with fewer affordable options.

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    The new Key Food is big, clean, and offers a wide selection of items, including many packaged gourmet foods.

    The latter included upscale candy, chips, tuna in glass jars, and an enormous freezer sporting an unheard-of array of obscure brands of ice cream. The store was busy with wondering shoppers when Brownstoner stopped by Sunday.

    The extra-large deli and meat counter stretches almost the depth of the store. There is also a salad bar.

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    The store was an Associated when it closed in 2013, but is still owned and operated by the same family. In July, a nearby Key Food at 325 Lafayette Avenue set off a storm of protest when it also closed to make way for a new apartment development.

    (The news prompted State Senator Velmanette Montgomery to utter the controversial comment, which she since apologized for, “white people don’t eat the way we do.”)

    Now that developer, Slate, has promised the grocer will reopen in the space.

    The developer of 490 Myrtle Avenue is Silverstone Property Group. The designer is Aufgang Architects, whose practice includes affordable housing and adaptive reuse projects.

    The traditional looking cast stone and metal building was designed to fit into the neighborhood, architect Ariel Aufgang told us last year.

    The new seven-story building has 93 apartments, including 19 affordable units. The lottery for the latter opened in April.

    A TD Bank opened in the building a few months ago, and there is another 1,100-square-foot retail space that has yet to find a tenant, according to the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership.

    When the developer first announced the grocery would close but return, Brownstoner commenter litachiqita said an improved store would be worth the wait.

    Annoying for the interim, but my kingdom for a grocery store with fresher produce and meats! I literally haven’t eaten fish once in the three years I’ve lived in the neighborhood. I’m not excited about the money I’ll have to spend at Khim’s during construction (dear god, please don’t let it be long!), but I think whatever goes into the new space will be an improvement.

    It seems the developer and retailer delivered.

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