East Village residents are circulating a petition to ask NYU to keep the Met Foods grocery store in its current home on 2nd Avenue.
Word of the store’s potential closure has been making the online real estate blog-rounds — it began with Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, then made the rounds at the Curbed network . Community Board 3 has the issue on it’s April 15th agenda, and judging by the tone of recent NYU-Community meetings, tensions will be running high. NYU and other large institutions have been the target of community outcry for a variety of projects that will transform the skyline and street life of the East and West Village.
Residents are worried the grocery store’s displacement would remove a low-cost food source in a neighborhood sandwiched between the Union Square Whole Foods/Trader Joe’s twosome, and Whole Foods on the Bowery. According to a spokesperson from the school, NYU has made an offer to relocate Met Foods as well as replace the current tenants with another grocer. Rising rents seem more threatening considered along with rising food prices, and NYU’s history in the nabe. Met foods is only a few blocks away from the under construction 12th street dorm, which remains a sore spot for preservationists and community members alike. This isn’t the first time NYU has run into foodie problems– the Morton Williams supermarket at Bleeker and LaGuardia has been on the chopping block for years as a prime site for new university building, becoming the target of preservationists seeking to label the site a landmark and slow new building in the West Village.
Just one more sign of the times in a rapidly changing city.