Mineola village officials are considering a Queens man’s proposal to bring a new grocery store to a vacant former King Kullen on Jericho Turnpike.
Wei Ling “Eric” Huang presented his plans to open a Super FL Market to the village board Wednesday night, telling members that he would invest $3 million to $5 million renovating the building at 52 Jericho Tpke. Those renovations would include a fresh coat of paint, new signage, remodeled floors and a freshly paved parking lot, Wei Ling said.
The supermarket would sell the same products as a traditional grocery store, said Wei Ling, of Maspeth, but would specialize in fresh produce and feature a larger seafood section.
Board members said Wednesday night that they were pleased someone has come forth with plans to use the building. The 45,000-square-foot property has sat vacant since the King Kullen closed in 2014.
The Huang family owns 11 grocery stores in New York City and Philadelphia. Wei Ling’s father, Cheng-Sheng Huang, bought the Mineola property last October and plans to lease the space to his son.
Wei Ling said he would hire 70 to 85 Long Islanders to staff his store, which he wants to open six months after Mineola’s approval.
Board trustee Dennis Walsh said King Kullen hired unionized cashiers and meat department workers, and asked Wei Ling whether there would be unionized workers at Super FL Market. He said no.
After hearing the plans, Mayor Scott Strauss said the board will reserve its decision for a later date, likely next month.
“There was a lot of information we received tonight, so we want to digest it a little bit,” Strauss said.
A new supermarket in the village may not seem like a big deal on the surface, Mineola Chamber of Commerce president Tony Lubrano said Wednesday night, but the King Kullen closing left residents with very few grocery options. There’s a North Shore Farms store on Jericho Turnpike, “but that’s more like a specialty store,” Lubrano said. There’s also a Western Beef on the south end of the village.
Wei Ling’s proposed store would be a great convenience for residents and nearby restaurants, Lubrano said. The new store would mean residents don’t have to spend as much time driving on often-congested Jericho Turnpike just to get to the King Kullen store in Garden City Park.
“And for the mother of two who has to take her kids to the grocery store with her, that makes a big difference on the quality of life,” Lubrano said.