In the News: Best Market’s Lease Is About to End

••• “The lease on Best Market, 316 Greenwich St., is set to expire next month. […] Negotiations on the renewal are ongoing, said Or Raitses, vice president of the family-owned supermarket chain. […] He declined to speculate on whether those negotiations would be resolved favorably.” —Tribeca Trib

••• The New York Post says that the Cortlandt Street subway station on the 1 line is “set to reopen,” but doesn’t say when. (It was destroyed during 9/11.) A reader heard from workers that it’ll reopen on September 11, but the MTA wouldn’t confirm it, saying only that “The next update on that station will be given at our September committee meeting.” (I asked when the September committee meeting is, never heard back, and forgot about it.) Also in the Post article: The signs all seem to say simply “World Trade Center,” dropping Cortlandt.

••• “The NYPD is warning Soho residents to lock their windows and doors following an uptick of burglaries in the area. Burglaries in the Manhattan neighborhood have more than doubled in July and August compared to the same time period last year, according to crime statistics from the NYPD.” —New York Post

••• “Come October, the showy One SoHo Square towers will welcome Torch & Crown’s on-site brewery, event space and full kitchen, while an adjoining alleyway is earmarked for a 2,500-square-foot outdoor beer garden. […] In the 4,000-square-foot Soho taproom the Cannibal—a Manhattan restaurant that specializes in homemade charcuterie—will offer beer-friendly fare paired with super-fresh, juicy I.P.A.s served from tanks installed above the bar.” That’s the building with Trader Joe’s in it; where’s the alley? UPDATE: I ran it by B., who’s up on that area: “The only area that seems to fit the description of ‘adjacent alleyway’ is the outdoor space facing Van Dam, between the old Van Dam Diner (at 12 Van Dam St) and the adjacent brick building on the corner of Van Dam and 6th Ave. This space is currently used for parking by the construction crews, and appears to be about 2500 square feet.” I don’t know if James is taking about the same alley: “The alley is between the two buildings at 233 Spring Street and 161 Sixth Avenue.” —New York Times



  1. The alley is between the two buildings at 233 Spring Street and 161 Sixth Avenue.

  2. While Best Market may not be the biggest bargain ever, it is a good modest neighborhood option. I suggest people who wish the big retail landlord to think twice before dispossessing them ought to contact Councilmember Chin and express their concern. I did.

    Go to

    It has happened before. Less than two years ago in Soho, residents lost one of their last affordable groceries.

    The New York Times: “Fears of Food Desert in High-End SoHo as Grocery Closes”

    “Margaret Chin, the city councilwoman who represents the neighborhood, said she had been blindsided by the decision to close the market because she had received assurances from a representative of the shop months before that it would stay open. After being informed by a reporter of the planned closing on Saturday, Ms. Chin and other local elected officials, State Senator Daniel L. Squadron and Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick, wrote a letter to the landlord condemning the decision.

    ” ‘Particularly troubling to us and the community at large is the desire for “a more upscale operation” given as a factor by your firm for its decision to end lease negotiations to keep this essential low-cost neighborhood food market open,’ the letter said.”

    • Was Chin able to do anything about the Met Food on Mulberry?

      • Ultimately, no, because it seems Councilmember Chin was seemingly “caught napping”, despite then having put up a last minute fight, but one that was too little, too late. Hopefully Councilmember Chin learns from the closure of Met Food (and the Pathmark at Two Bridges before that) and tries to do more and sooner this time. Fool me once…

        Apparently Councilmember Chin could not save the Met Food on Mulberry because–as the Times reported–a mere seven days before they closed did she finally discover there had been no binding agreement in place for them to stay! This late knowledge–in the face of leasing signs posted on the property in October–came despite her claim that “she had received assurances from a representative of the shop months before [sic – actually it was in November per the Councilmember’s press release quoted below] that it would stay open.” What kind of assurances? The kind of spoken promises that are worth the paper they are printed on?

        Who can hope to make change by waiting until there are seven days left in its existence before holding a rally in front of Best Market or writing a letter to the landlord?

        Is the Councilmember going to let this happen yet again in her district? Be hoodwinked again? Just look at other Independence Plaza retail stores made to vacate and held vacant for years with crazy, above-market asking prices and yearslong stories about plans for extending those storefronts to the building line! Any day now.


        250 Broadway, Suite 1882
        New York, NY 10007

        **MEDIA ADVISORY**

        Contact: Paul Leonard [CM Chin] (212) 788-7259,


        WHAT: Tomorrow at 2 p.m., residents of Little Italy, SoHo, NoHo, and surrounding areas will rally against the closure of a Met Supermarket that has offered low-cost, fresh food to the neighborhood for more than two decades.

        After months of rumors — which were denied by a market representative in early November – the store announced the food market would permanently close its doors on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 9 p.m.

        This week, Council Member Chin joined other local elected officials to call on the foodmarket owner and landlord to resume lease negotiations. Despite having a current tenant paying $90,000 a month, a representative for the landlord, Abington Properties, said it wants to transform the Met Foodmarket into “a more upscale operation.”

        With the closure of Met Foodmarket, shoppers on fixed and low-incomes will have to travel even farther for affordable, fresh produce. The loss of Met Foodmarket is the latest in a string of low-cost food market closures in the past few years – including the Associated Supermarket on W. 14th Street and a Pathmark demolished to make way for an as-of-right real estate development in Two Bridges.

        WHEN: TOMORROW, THURSDAY, Dec. 29 at 2 p.m.

        WHERE: Outside Met Foodmarket, 251 Mulberry St. (at Prince St.)



        NoLita Residents Rally For Another Lost Neighborhood Grocery
        BY JOSH KEEFE IN NEWS ON DEC 31, 2016 12:10 PM

        Standing in the rain in front of grocery store windows filled with fruit, vegetables and “store closing” signs, Council Member Margaret Chin led a small rally on Thursday to save a NoLita supermarket slated to close at the end of the year.

        “We must send a message in this city that the people who helped build up this neighborhood need their supermarket, not any more fancy, upscale stores,” Chin said to a dozen or so supporters gathered in the rain to demand landlord Abington Properties re-open negotiations with its tenant, Met Food. “The pattern of greed that chooses upscale stores over a low-cost supermarket, that chooses profits over people, must end today.”

        The storefront at 251 Mulberry Street has been home to the 4,000 square-foot Met Food for 25 years, but the store’s seven-year, $90,000 a month lease expires at the end of the 2016. Owner Paul Fernandez, 58, who independently owns and operates the store under the Met Food brand, said negotiations with Abington went back and forth for much of the past year. Leasing banners were placed on the property in October. But Fernandez said that it only became clear he would have to shutter his store a few weeks ago. Last weekend, he put up signs announcing the store would closing on December 31.

        “They wanted a more, from what I understand, ‘high-end’ store here,” Fernandez, who did not attend the rally, explained by phone. “My primary goal was to provide a service to the community and maintain a conventional supermarket in this very gentrified neighborhood… I could have gone upscale and become an extension of Whole Foods, but I wanted to simply cater to the community.”


        No new tenant has been announced, and Chin warned that Abington would leave the property empty until the company can secure a tenant who can afford higher rents.

        “They should be penalized for doing that,” Chin said. “We’re losing supermarkets all across the city… we cannot afford to lose any more of our supermarkets.”


    • If you think a councilmember can impede somebody’s property rights, you are on another planet. There is no way that you can prevent the owners from leasing the space to another tenant.

      • Here’s only one recent example (January 2018) of community involvement and politicians working with a large landlord to rescue a prominent business.

        “To New Yorkers’ Delight, Coogan’s Says It Isn’t Closing After All”

        “Coogan’s restaurant and bar, a civic fixture in Washington Heights for 32 years, reached a new agreement with its landlord late Friday afternoon, just three days after its owners announced they would be closing in May because of a demand for a $40,000 monthly rent increase.


        “'[Landlord] NewYork-Presbyterian and Coogan’s are delighted that this has been resolved in a way that satisfies everyone involved, and that Coogan’s will continue to be a very special part of the Washington Heights community,’ the hospital and the restaurant said in a joint statement. They acknowledged that Representative Adriano Espaillat and the Manhattan borough president, Gale Brewer, had been instrumental in bringing about the agreement. Also taking part was Luis A. Miranda Jr., a political consultant who is the father of the Broadway star.”

        • “reached a new agreement” just means the tenant agreed to pay more. I’m sure Best Market could stay for the right price (which they won’t pay). Has nothing to do with the community or the councilmember.

  3. I know a lot of you like to hate on Ms. Chin but her power is limited when dealing with a landlord’s lust. Let’s hope Best Market is able to hang on and the landlord will be smart and know that it is better to have a good tenant then let the property sit empty…but who knows. Contact Chin – that is a good thing to do but don’t crucify her if nothing comes of it.

  4. What has Margaret Chin done for “us” here in TriBeCa , Nolita? Absolutely nothing . Only for Chinatown. Useless these people voted again for her . She does nothing for us her only her own. Good Luck Best Market, it was good while it lasted. Greedy landlords win every time especially the piece of work called Stella . Margaret is around Greenwich only for the votes then she’s gone. Only for Chinatown

    • Hey native – should you be named nativist? Racist tinge to your post.

      • Oh really JJ. Everyone knows Margaret Chin and what she does for Chinatown. everyone so quick to call people, ” racist”. You better open your eyes. Its a fact what goes on in Chinatown and what she does for her ” own”. The new thing lets call everyone Racist when they finally say what is really going on.

      • Hey JJ- please enlighten me! What exactly has Margaret Chin done for Tribeca? I have lived in the neighborhood since the late 80’s, and have seen the neighborhood transform from low/middle income to a neighborhood for the uber rich! Some of us can’t afford or don’t want to be forced to shop in Whole Foods! So yes, we need an affordable supermarket, like Best Market as an option! So yes, where is Margaret Chin? I do hope to hear her voice and fight for Best Market! And I’ll have to agree with “Native” that the only time I’ve seen Ms. Chin around is election time! Sadly, she was voted in last term, by a slim margin, mostly because of the voting pool in Chinatown. And yes, she does fight for her own….fact! If you translate that as rasist, I believe you are the ignorant one! Margaret Chin, where are you?

        • Thank you so much ” Old Tribeca”! You put it in words better than I ever can. Most of these people haven’t lived here long enough to see what has gone on the past couple of ” decades”. I been here around 30 years and no one wanted to move down here. It was a melting pot of working class people, every rash, religion who fought for our food emporium way before I came in the 70s. Greenwich Street will be dark and deserted at night ( no lights) if we lose our supermarket where I shop every day. I can’t afford wholefoods like most of these people can. And yes, Margaret Chin is a waste. Never did Anything to help us before. Be the way she signed off on the new prison going up on Centre Street, How nice for our area.

    • “these people”…?

  5. I don’t understand the Margaret Chin bashing here. I am grateful that her office was helpful to me when I had an issue that fell within its purview, and I am not Chinese and I do not live in Chinatown. To insist that a politician should have magical powers to dictate rental agreements between owners and tenants is not only unrealistic, but scary, and if a politician were doing it in a situation you *didn’t* like you would probably call it corruption. And then to blame her because a representative lied to her, instead of blaming the liar, is the last straw, but I guess victim-blaming is the new normal.

    • there have been ” plenty” of things Margaret Chin hasn’t done for our community. Starting with IPN. We are sad she won again.

    • Ms. Chin’s claims that she has a lengthy track record of preserving and building affordable housing, “the only track record she has is building affordable housing that is not affordable. Margaret Chin’s legacy will be one of displacement and evictions in the next ten years because of the over-development that she has done in this community.” state tenant activist Imperiale. And I say, what was Ms. Chin doing for Independence Plaza when it was bought out of the Mitchell Lama program, by a landlord whose full intention was to convert to high rental, which is what the majority of the rentals are right now. A handful of tenants qualify for the awful HPD sticky voucher program which almost forces people to stay at poverty level! And what is the status of the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA), that Margaret Chin supported, which is a proposal to give commercial tenants some rights when renegotiating leases with their landlords. In Margaret Chin’s own words….”I have a record of achieving results for tenants, and small business owners”.
      So, “Hudson River” Try doing your homework before commenting. I do believe that Best Market does fall into a small business correct?

      • Bravo Old Tribeca!!! So sad she won! Christopher Marte was soo close. We needed a positive change. Margaret Chin was accused of ” selling out” to the real estate industry. I mean its obvious. What record does Chin have? Please so many people have moved out when big landlords win. Her and the idiot of a Mayor we have.

  6. Chin has even supported the Jail. From Chinatown to Tribeca residents have opposed the jail. A message must be sent to Chin that she must vote based on the will of the people. She is not for our community.

    What can you do? Join the various protests that are being organized (there will be a large rally in 2-3 weeks at Chin’s office. Sign the petitions. Call Chin’s office and demand that she vote the people’s desire. Chin has done nothing but harm this neighborhood. IT IS TIME TO STAND UP FOR YOUR RIGHTS TRIBECANS AND FORCE CHIN TO STAND DOWN ON THE JAIL.

  7. So is Torch & Crown still opening or no? inquiring minds want to know

    • Can’t imagine why it wouldn’t be. (But if you know something, spill it.) Don’t make much out of it not opening in October as hoped; nothing opens on time. There’s a half-finished website,, that says the taproom is “currently under construction—check back soon for updates.”