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Fairway closes store in Plainview after parent company fails to find buyer

The closed Fairway Market store in Plainview seen

The closed Fairway Market store in Plainview seen on Tuesday.  Credit: Tory N. Parrish

One of the two Fairway Markets on Long Island has closed after nearly 20 years in Plainview, affecting 95 workers.

Manhattan-based Fairway Group Holdings Corp. operated 14 supermarkets in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January.

At that time, the company said it planned to sell up to five of its New York City stores and find buyers for the rest.

But no buyer could be found for the two Long Island stores — in Plainview and Westbury — or a store in Harlem, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act filing, or WARN, submitted to the New York State Department of Labor.

Under the WARN Act, certain employers must notify workers and the state in advance of mass layoffs or work site closings.

Fairway submitted its WARN on Jan. 24 but has amended it several times since then, most recently Friday.

The company declined to comment.

The Plainview store, which closed July 15, was in leased space at 50 Manetto Hill Rd. in Manetto Hill Plaza.

The store opened in 2001 and occupied 55,162 square feet, making it the largest tenant in Manetto Hill Plaza before it closed, according to Kimco Realty Corp., the New Hyde Park-based owner of the shopping center.

The store closing affected 95 employees, according to Fairway’s WARN filing.

Most of the workers in Fairway's Plainview and Westbury stores are members of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 1500 in Westbury, said Rob Newell, president of the union.

The Fairway in Westbury, at 1258 Corporate Dr., is slated to close between July 31 and Aug. 14, and 126 employees will be affected, according to the WARN.

But there is a good chance that store will be purchased, Newell said.

“From the perspective of the union, we’re doing everything we can every day to find a buyer for that store.  And I can say there is at least one suitor that has a possibility of acquiring it,” he said.

Fairway Market’s Westbury store opened in Raceway Plaza in 2012 and occupies about 60,000 square feet of leased space.  The Mattone Group is the Queens-based co-owner and manager of the shopping center.

The Westbury location “continues to operate and be profitable, based on the debtor’s recent monthly operating reports,” said Mattone’s attorney, Phillip Khezri, of Lowenstein Sandler LLP, a law firm based in Roseland, New Jersey.

In March, Fairway announced that an auction resulted in winning bids from Village Supermarket Inc. for four Manhattan stores and a production and distribution center for about $76 million, Seven Seas Georgetowne LLC for a Brooklyn store for about $5 million and Amazon Retail LLC for the sales of two leases in New Jersey for $1.5 million.

Sales are now pending for nine Fairway stores in New York, according to the WARN.

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