Town tries to keep D’Agostino space as grocery store
D’Agostino suffered a power outage during Irene; yesterday signs went up informing customers that it is “unable to open our Chappaqua store at this time.”
With 21 comments since publication Friday
September 2, 2011
by Christine Yeres
Last Saturday morning, the day before Irene overtook the town, Deputy Supervisor Elise Mottel held an outdoor press conference across the street from D’Agostino’s to announce that after repeated attempts to contact D’Agostino management, D’Ag’s landlord and Walgreen management, the town had received a response only from Walgreen’s.
A representative of the drugstore chain made it clear, said Mottel, that Walgreen’s move into D’Agostino’s space was “imminent,” and had offered no more details of the status of any leasing contract between the two.
Frustrated that D’Agostino landlord Steven Nardozzi had “ignored all of our requests to meet and to work together to find a solution for all parties,” Mottel said that she had written to the management of several grocery stores such as Trader Joe’s and Turco’s, urging them, also, to contact Nardosi. Trader Joe’s wrote back thanking Mottel for the invitation, offering to pass the information on to its real estate department.
“I understand that we live in a free market economy,” said Mottel, “and we cannot simply tell and landlord or Walgreens what to do. However, maintaining a vibrant economy and a balance of stores in Chappaqua and Millwood is a vital concern.” She would continue, she said, “to reach out to the landlord to encourage positive dialogue.”
Mottel noted that although the town does not have the legal means to prevent landlord from leasing to Walgreen’s, it was not too late, she believed, to bring the landlord to the table to talk.
Asked what residents could do at this point, Mottel responded, “We need the public to band together to see if we can reach out to the landlord, to get an opportunity to meet and to discuss the community’s concerns,” said Mottel. “At this point I think there is time. We need to let the landlord know our concerns and we need to be very, very vocal.”
Asked whether the parking at the RiteAid site downtown would support a grocery store if Walgreen’s presence caused that pharmacy to fail, Mottel responded in the affirmative, noting that the RiteAid site had previously been a Gristedes grocery store.
Mottel has asked that the issue of the D’Agostino-Walgreen lease be placed on the town board’s work session agenda for September 6, to be discussed by the entire board.
To read Mottel’s entire statement, click HERE.
UPDATE: To NCNOW’s question yesterday, September 1, asking whether Mottel had heard from the landlord since her press conference, she responded by email, “the Town received a letter from the landlord yesterday [August 31] responding to our letters. The Landlord told us that he has a long term lease with D’Agostino and that D’Agostino is looking to sublet the space. We will follow up with the landlord and D’Agostino next week.” The landlord, she continued, “did not say whether or not there was a deal. He indicated his willingness to work with the community.”
From NCNOW’s archives: See “Can New Castle keep D’Agostino’s?” August 12, 2011.