An upscale supermarket is set to take root in Douglaston following city approval.
The city’s Department of Buildings approved Fairway Market to begin construction at the Douglaston Shopping Center, ending a string of delays that pushed the opening from spring 2010 to the fall of this year.
The market will replace Waldbaum’s along 61st Avenue. The expansion into Queens comes as the grocery store chain is preparing to open an Upper East Side store on July 20.
Susan Seinfeld, district manager at Community Board 11, said that the community is very excited to finally have a supermarket in the area. Seinfeld is personally ecstatic Fairway is opening in the area, as she has traveled to the Long Island location on numerous occasions.
“Anticipation, anxious, can’t wait,” is how Seinfeld described the mood in the community. “There were some concerns at first about the traffic it would bring in, but the need for a grocery store trumps anything.”
Besides concerns about traffic, other obstacles included building permits, interior design issues with Con Edison, as well as apprehension about the size of Fairway’s signage. The company had to gain approve for its signage from the Board of Standards and Appeals, which took more time than was anticipated.
Dan Glickberg, a fourth generation owner and Fairway’s executive vice president of media, said that Queens shoppers can expect great value, high quality and a one-stop shopping destination. He added that besides fresh foods, residents will have access to specialty and imported items as well.
“Queens have been extremely supportive of Fairway since the beginning of our project,” he said, adding that Fairway has plans for aggressive expansion in the Tri-State area over the next few years. “Douglaston is a densely populated area and our shopping center is at the intersection of the L.I.E. and the Cross Island Expressway – making for easy access for the rest of Queens and Long Island residents.”
Residents can also look forward to potential job growth from the construction and eventual opening of the new grocery store. Seinfeld said jobs are an added bonus anytime a new business opens in Queens.
“They are certainly going to hire plenty of people at different job levels,” she said. “I’m sure applicants will come from a wide area of Queens – hopefully many local people will apply and benefit from working there.”
According to Fairway’s web site, by the end of 2011 the grocery chain will have expanded to nine stores and the number of people employed will approach 4,000.