Roughly eight months ago, when the Key Food in Windsor Terrace closed, an announcement was made that a Walgreens would take its place at the intersection of Prospect and 11th avenues, prompting local residents to form the group “Green Beans not Walgreens.”
At a meeting on Thursday, however, it was announced the group had changed its name to “Green Beans and Walgreens,” when it was announced that Key Food and Walgreens would operate a joint store.
The change came about when Walgreens officials sat down with the higher ups at Key Foods to make a decision that became a first for both groups.
The two stores will share the 14,149-sqaure-foot space, but will not be linked from the inside. The Key Food will take up about 5,500 square feet.
Hien Nguyen, district director of Walgreens, said at his first meeting with the community the narrative became obvious that residents wanted a grocery store.
“Walgreens will have things that [Key Food] doesn’t and they’ll have things that we don’t,” Nguyen.
The new store is scheduled to open this. According to Nguyen, Walgreens is picking up the tab when it comes to renovations and the overall beautification of the area surrounding the store.
Gino Palummo, vice president of Business Development for Key Food, said that he was happy the deal went through, and said the store would try to hire from the local community as much as possible.
“If you are as passionate as working in this Key Food as you are about getting this merger done, I look forward to all of you working,” he said.
Palummo said that the new store will have everything from a deli counter to freshly cooked food, as well as fully stocked shelves. He said the store will provide the fresh produce that the community demanded when their fight began eight months ago.
Ryan Lynch, member of Green Beans not Walgreens and Community Board 7, called the plan, “very exciting.”
“Eight months ago we had nothing, our Key Food was closed” he said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. This community came together and fought.”