Northeast Queens residents can gather their shopping bags as deals have been reached for two new supermarkets in the area. Lidl, the German grocery store company, will open two new stores in Northeast Queens in the not-too-distant future, with one in Glen Oaks and another in Fresh Meadows.
The Glen Oaks location will take the place of the former Key Food in the Glen Oaks shopping center, located at 259-01 Union Tpke.
When Key Food closed abruptly in February 2022, community members were left without a supermarket nearby. Since then, Glen Oaks residents have had to make the trip to Food Bazaar in Douglaston or to either of Shop & Shop’s locations in Bay Terrace or Great Neck.
Last December, the Chronicle reported that the Union Turnpike space was expected to remain a supermarket, and had been listed as available for lease. Nick Dries, a real estate agent for the Feil Organization, said at the time that several different companies had expressed interest in the site. Six months later, it seems Lidl came out on top.
“We spent a lot of time thinking about that,” Randall Brisken, Dries’ colleague, said of choosing Lidl to occupy the store.
“We had other offers, and we chose them because we thought they would be best suited to fit the needs of the community. So it’s kind of a win-win situation.”
Brisken declined to comment on what other stores had been in consideration for the site. Though he would not name the terms of the deal precisely, he said the asking price for the 15-year lease was between $30 and $40 per square foot. The store is 34,441 square feet at the ground level and has 7,038 usable square feet in the basement, a brochure on the Feil Organization website says.
Brisken said the supermarket’s Glen Oaks location will open its doors “sometime in ’24.”
Resident Gene McCarthy was pleased to hear that. “We can hang out for another year — that’s not a big deal,” he told the Chronicle.
The news of the Glen Oaks store, which was first reported in Commercial Observer last week, comes at a time when Northeast Queens has seen several supermarkets close or change hands. In October 2021, Stop & Shop’s Little Neck location closed; though JMart is slated to take its place, it’s unclear when that will open. And last November, Bayside’s Food Universe closed for a month before reopening as a Key Food, now with a sign saying Key Food Marketplace.
Lidl’s incoming store in Fresh Meadows ought to help fill any remaining void.
The 28,426-square-foot space, located in the Fresh Meadows Place shopping center at 188th Street and Horace Harding Expressway, was home to a Michael’s arts and crafts store until late February. The addition of Lidl in Fresh Meadows will give residents an alternative to the Food Emporium at Hollis Court and Horace Harding Expressway; right now, the only other nearby options are the Key Food locations at 164th Street and 69th Avenue or on the other side of Cunningham Park on 73rd Avenue.
While Joe Byrnes, a real estate agent for Federal Realty, did not respond to a request for comment, the company’s website lists Lidl as an occupant of the shopping center, effectively confirming a report on the agreement from The Real Deal published last week. When the store will open is not clear.