Despite the questionable legalities of pushing out a tenant with three years remaining on his lease, replacing our neighborhood Foodtown with the no-frills Germany-based Lidl market is not right for our town and residents. While Holly Gardens has the right to sell its property, subject to its existing leases, the town has a responsibility to ensure that any change in the use of the property is well-aligned with the interests of the community. The alternative threat by the property owner to put in less desirable multi-unit housing should not bully our town council and planning board into submission here.
As life-long residents and business owners in town, we know that bringing in a pre-packaged off-brand market is all wrong for the community. Residents, including ourselves, rely on the Foodtown and Hiawatha Pharmacy for so many of our daily needs and personal services that Lidl will not provide. Minimal staffing is part of their business model. Replacing a fresh meat market and deli with pre-packaged meats of questionable origins will force many residents to drive to stores outside of town at a great inconvenience. Many residents, including our seniors, can’t or choose not to shop for their groceries or get their medications on the highway.
A full-service supermarket is a necessity in town, and our community does have a say in how a large retail parcel in the center of town is utilized.
I would also like to remind the community that it was Victor and Roberto Larocca of Foodtown who very generously donated to our local relief effort following Hurricane Irene. They continue to help many through the pandemic with personalized deliveries to residents unable to leave their homes. Additionally, Atta Rehman of Hiawatha Pharmacy provides the best-personalized service that any customer could hope for. These businesses are essential and we should do everything possible to support them in our town!
If you share our concerns about replacing our Foodtown with Lidl, please communicate them to our council members and mayor.
Their contact info is below:
Michael DePierro – Council President – firstname.lastname@example.org / 973-263-3333
Loretta Gragnani – Council Vice President – email@example.com / 973-263-4350
Paul Carifi Jr – Council Member – firstname.lastname@example.org / 973-993-9117
Janice McCarthy – Council Member – email@example.com / 973-263-4351
Emily Peterson – Council Member – firstname.lastname@example.org / 973-263-4351
Michael Soriano – Mayor – email@example.com / 973-263-4262
Adam and Terry Checke
Lake Hiawatha Residents and Owners of Landmark Floral
Editors Note: Click here to access the meeting to be held on Monday, February 8, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.