By Jano Tantongco
A deal has been struck to bring an Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace to the former Waldbaum's location in the Melville Mall, which has remained without a tenant since the former supermarket closed last year.
“The community really has been so supportive and excited to see us come there. I know that they were looking for something to come in this spot,” said Johanna Zucaro, marketing manager for Uncle Giuseppe’s.
She explained that the location at 834 Walt Whitman Road is slated to open summer 2017. As proposed, it would span 52,833 square feet, and would be the sixth location on Long Island for the chain, which was first established in 1998.
“We’re hoping to include all of the departments we include in our largest stores -- mozzarella and pasta rooms, the pizzeria and cafe,” she added. “In October 2015, the landlord, Federal Realty Investment Trust, bid on and won back the lease from Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., after their bankruptcy prompted a swath of closings, including several stores in the Town of Huntington.”
Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson worked with the landlord, Federal Realty, to coordinate a new tenant for the space.
“We had worked with them successfully on the Waldbaum’s in Greenlawn, and they were receptive to our efforts to help put them in touch with people and to make sure that whoever the operator is got as quick an assessment as possible from the town about moving into a space like that,” he said.
Cuthbertson wrote a letter to Jeffrey Mooallem, senior vice president of Federal Realty, which was also published in The Long-Islander on June 16. He appealed to Mooallem to “locate a suitable tenant to re-establish a supermarket use.”
Federal Realty did not respond to a request for comment before deadline Tuesday.