Written by Kyle Bluth Friday, 19 March 2010 00:00
Super Stop & Shop began construction at the corner of Main Street and Motor Avenue, the Liberty Site, in September 2009 and they are set to open for business late spring or early summer, a spokesperson said. The 74,000 square foot store will be housed on a nine-acre section of land and is expected to create 30 full-time management and 140 part-time jobs, according to Stop & Shop spokesperson Kevin Ryan.
When asked why Stop & Shop chose Farmingdale for their newest store location, Ryan said, “Market studies showed the community would support a modern-run supermarket.”
Just up the block from the new site at the local strip mall on Main Street, Bernadette Goldbach works at a local hair salon and is looking forward to the new Stop & Shop opening just up the street.
“I think it will be convenient to stop in after work,” she said. However there are people who do not support the store in Farmingdale.
Amanda Beat, who manages Courtesy Drugs and lives locally, doesn’t support the store opening.
“Absolutely not, I’m worried what [Stop & Shop] will do to our business,” she told the Farmingdale Observer. “We’re new to the area and I don’t think we’ve been here long enough to compete with them.”
The area that encompasses the new Super Stop & Shop is a community filled with residential homes and small businesses, with Allen Park right next door. The Town of Oyster Bay’s decision to allow Stop & Shop’s construction has come under much debate and controversy.
Some of the local businesses that stand to take the brunt of the impact are those in the food service industry, many of which have been in the community for decades, like Main Street Meats, open since 1946. The owner’s son and marketing director for the store, Lee Selig, took some time to discuss how in past years the big supermarkets began to make an impact when they moved into the area.
They decided to change their philosophies, evolving from a strictly retail-based clientele to enlarging their focus to other outlets such as wholesale distribution to restaurants, yet still remaining open to walk-ins by local and loyal patrons, Selig said.
When asked if he was concerned over the new competition he said, “We feel that the service that we offer, the quality of meat that we provide, and the personalized quality of service from our butchers are unmatched anywhere. That’s why we have been here so long.”
The location of the new construction has quite a lengthy history. The 30-acre plot of land at 55 Motor Avenue has roots that go all the way back to the days of WWII. During the 1940s and 1950s, certain operations at the site were involved in the manufacturing of aircraft parts, owned by Liberty Aircrafts Products Company.
In the years that followed after the war, the facilities were transformed into an industrial park that was occupied by numerous tenants, largely used for the operations of metal plating and fiberglass manufacturing, among others. The extensive number of industrial operations and tenants that occupied the Liberty site during these years (1957-1978) combined with the improper disposal of hazardous waste resulted in the contamination of the site, according to EPA records.
In 1986 the Environmental Protection Agency placed the Liberty Industrial Site on the National Priorities List because of harmful chemicals at and near the site. After years of extensive investigation, remediation and cleanups, Stop & Shop has leased the site.