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Best Market to buy five more Waldbaum's, Pathmarks

Best Market on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington is

Best Market on Jericho Turnpike in Huntington is seen on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015. Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus

A federal bankruptcy judge Friday approved the bid from Best Market to buy five Waldbaum's and Pathmark stores on Long Island owned by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. for $4.425 million.

Bethpage-based Best Yet Market Inc., a family-owned nonunion outfit operating stores under the banner Best Market, agreed to buy the leases of two Waldbaum's stores, the one in Great Neck for $1.5 million and the one in Selden for $612,500, and three Pathmarks, in Shirley for $1.1 million, in Islip for $612,500, and in West Babylon for $600,000. It also agreed to buy a Food Emporium on Greenwich Street in Manhattan.

Judge Robert Drain made the decision on the stores at a hearing in federal bankruptcy court in White Plains.

Last month, the judge approved separate bids from Best Market to buy three other Waldbaum's stores, in Commack for $595,000, in Merrick for $2.715 million and in Westhampton Beach for $4 million, as well as a Pathmark in East Rockaway for $1.225 million.

For all the stores, Best Market has agreed to make "good faith, best efforts" to hire at least 25 percent of each new store's workforce from among displaced A&P union workers who are qualified for positions. The workers could also be offered jobs at other Best Market stores. Best Market currently has 20 stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including 16 on Long Island.

For the fourth time, a decision was delayed on a $3.45 million bid from H Mart, a New Jersey-based Asian-American supermarket chain, for the Waldbaum's in Jericho. A hearing on that issue has been rescheduled to Nov. 23.

A decision on the Jericho store was previously postponed after a proposal made by H Mart was not acceptable to the local union, an attorney for A&P had said. H Mart has 50 locations in 11 states, including two locations on Long Island.

A decision was also delayed on a bid of $600,000 for the Pathmark in Brentwood from Brooklyn-based Bogopa Service Corp., owner of the Food Bazaar supermarket chain.

So far, 33 Long Island A&P stores have been bought or bid on, and five were closed in October, while 13 other stores remain unsold. If buyers are not found, the unsold stores are expected to close next week.

The judge also approved A&P's request for a four-month extension, to May 16, to complete its liquidation and bankruptcy plan, so it can sell more stores.

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