A North New Hyde Park supermarket has closed less than two years after it opened.
The Foodtown at 2046 Lakeville Road ended business on Aug. 31, said Jeff Pliskin, the CEO of Pliskin Realty and Development, the Garden City-based firm that manages the building.
Empty shelves and food cases could be seen through the front windows on Friday. The store near the corner of Lakeville Road and Union Turnpike opened in November 2015.
“People who lived around there, it was very convenient for them,” Bill Cutrone, president of the Lakeville Estates Civic Association, said of the store.
The store’s owner, Joe Paravati, did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Paravati and his business partner, Angelo Avena, leased the store, located in a small shopping center, in June 2014 and gave it an extensive renovation before opening it. The Lakeville Road location was the pair’s sixth Foodtown store.
The Foodtown opened two months after the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. filed bankruptcy and subsequently auctioned, sold or closed more than 100 Waldbaum’s, Pathmark and A&P grocery stores.
Two affected stores were within three miles of the Foodtown location: a Waldbaum’s at 2475 Jericho Turnpike in Garden City Park, now the home of Garden City Food; and a Pathmark at 2335 New Hyde Park Road, now a ShopRite store.
The new supermarkets that replaced the A&P stores last year may have cannibalized some of Foodtown’s business, especially because they had more space and better parking, Jerry Baldassaro, the president of the Greater New Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce, said.
“They always had trouble with parking in that location. It was never really designed for a supermarket,” Baldassaro said.
Cutrone said he was uncertain about why the store closed, but he heard that the shopping center’s cramped parking lot made it hard to access the store and hurt its business.
Pliskin, though, said other supermarkets had succeeded in that space over the last 50 years despite the tight lot.
Most customers Cutrone knew would go there for immediate needs rather than their regular grocery shopping, he said.
“I guess a big store like that you need people to get more than one or two items at a time, so that might have been the problem,” Cutrone said.
Cutrone hopes a different grocery store such as Trader Joe’s or a discount shop such as Dollar Tree will replace the Foodtown.
The space is a good fit for a grocery store because it is already outfitted with freezers, refrigerators and other equipment, Pliskin said. Other tenants have expressed interest in the building, he said, but he declined to say who.