Photo of 770 Broadway (cropped) via Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this month, the Kmart on Astor Place, a strangely beloved neighborhood fixture, closed abruptly after 25 years. The store at 770 Broadway was one of only two locations in Manhattan; the Penn Station outpost closed in early 2020. Now, landlord Vornado Realty Trust has announced that they will bring in Wegmans grocery store as the new tenant, scheduled to open in the second half of 2023.
Wegmans opened their first New York City store to much fanfare at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in October 2019. The grocer has somewhat of a cult following thanks to its many prepared food options, organic selections, and reasonable prices. Their Brooklyn location totals 74,000 square feet. The Astor Place location will be even larger at 82,000 square feet.
“Wegmans is one of a kind and will be a best-in-class addition to Manhattan, both for the local neighborhoods and as a destination for residents from across the island. We look forward to partnering with Wegmans’ talented team on the opening of this signature location,” said Vornado Chairman and CEO Steve Roth.
According to the press release, “Wegmans signed an agreement with Transformco [Kmart’s parent company] to buy out Kmart’s lease at Astor Place…” They then signed a 30-year lease with Vornado to occupy the space on both the street and lower levels, totaling 82,000 square feet. (The Brooklyn location is 74,000 square feet.)
As The Real Deal explained, up until 2018, Kmart actually occupied 145,000 square feet across three floors in the building, but Vornado paid them $46 million to give up the second floor to may way for office tenant Facebook.
In addition to Facebook, 770 Broadway, is home to several subsidiaries of Verizon Media. Commercial building 51 Astor Place is just across the street and is the headquarters of IBM’s Watson Group. Cooper Union is nearby, as are NYU and the New School, so Wegmans should have no shortage of foot traffic. The Brooklyn Wegmans also offers delivery in New York City through Instacart, a service that’s likely to be provided at their new location, too.
Wegmans was started in 1916 and today has 106 stores across New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and North Carolina.
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Neighborhoods : East Village