Waldbaum’s Closure Has Residents Concerned

By Carl Corry


 Residents of the Paumanack Village affordable senior-housing development in Greenlawn are scrambling to figure out how they will do their grocery shopping once the Waldbaum’s supermarket that the development clusters around closes later this month.

Mary D’Agostino, Paumanack Village’s service coordinator, said there has been a lot of conflicting information about what will replace Waldbaum’s, whose parent company, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
A federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of the Waldbaum’s in Greenlawn Plaza to Shanghai Enterprises for $3.26 million last month, and the store is tentatively set to close on Nov. 22. The pharmacy has already closed, with the nearest CVS picking up its business.

The closure will leave the 500 residents of Paumanack Village, whose average age is 78, according to D’Agostino, with no walkable grocery location. Paumanack Village has walking paths connected to Greenlawn Plaza.

A call to a Shanghai Enterprises representative was not immediately returned, but company representatives have said they do not intend to operate a supermarket, according to Mineola-based United Food and Commercial Workers Local 338, which represents Waldbaum’s workers.

However, D’Agostino said she spoke with a Shanghai Enterprises official, who told her nothing had been decided.

A Greenlawn Civic Association meeting Tuesday attended by about 50 people centered on the issue, with local officials and community groups discussing ways to conveniently get groceries to residents around the Waldbaum’s area.

Civic association President Darryl St. George said ideas ranged from providing delivery service to a farmer’s market at Paumanack Village.

Meanwhile, said Huntington Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, who attended the meeting, “We’re trying to urge the owner of the shopping center and whoever gets the lease to put a grocery store there.”