By Nicholas Stix
Yesterday (Wednesday), I spoke with a contractor at the old Key Food supermarket straddling Beach 105th and 106th streets on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, in Rockaway Park. The place was wrecked, primarily by water, but also by wind damage on October 29, 2012, by Hurricane Sandy, and was never re-opened.
Over two years ago, one of the contractors rehabbing the store told me that the Dominican owner had gotten over $1,000,000 from his insurance company.
About two years ago, the rehab job was complete. But rather than re-open the store, the owner put up a sign soliciting customers to rent parts of it. The plan then was purportedly to rent out half of the space, and use the other half for groceries, but it never materialized.
In March of 2015, I saw worked testing the ground in the store’s adjacent parking lot, by Beach 105th Street, for water. It was clear that something was going to be built on that ground.
Yesterday, there were long, wide, wooden slabs in the store. The contractor there told me the store was to be demolished, and something was to be built on the parking lot. He claimed not to know what, but The Boss figures it’ll be condos.
Maybe. But there’s a hurdle with condos. The site is near a waste filtering plant, where these is often a stench. A few years ago, a developer built and sold condos a little closer to the plant, but the buyers couldn’t tolerate the stench, and the whole deal fell through.
All I know for sure is that the Key Food isn’t coming back.