Wegmans Food Markets, the popular East Coast grocer with an avid customer base, will open its first Manhattan location in the second half of 2023, the Rochester, N.Y.-based retailer announced Thursday.
The site at Astor Place in the East Village — until recently a Kmart store — will be the company’s second New York City store, following the 2019 opening of Wegmans at Brooklyn’s Navy Yard.
“We are so excited to bring Wegmans to Manhattan. This is something we’ve been dreaming about and working toward for a long time,” said Colleen Wegman, president and CEO of Wegmans. “The community’s response to the opening of our Brooklyn store had an excitement and energy that you can only experience in New York City. You can feel that energy returning to the city, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
Under the terms of the 30-year lease with Vornado Realty Trust, Wegmans will occupy space on both the street and lower levels of 770 Broadway for a total of roughly 82,000 square feet. The building’s location in Greenwich Village, at the nexus of downtown residential, retail and office locations, not far from New York University, occupies a full city block between 8th and 9th Streets and Broadway and Fourth Avenue. A 1.2-million-square-foot landmarked building, 770 Broadway is the site of the historic Wanamaker’s department store that Vornado transformed into a premier office space catering to leading technology and media leaders, including Facebook, Verizon Media and Nielsen.
“We are delighted to be part of bringing the beloved Wegmans to Manhattan,” said Steven Roth, Vornado’s chairman and CEO. “Wegmans is one of a kind and will be a best-in-class addition to Manhattan, both for the local neighborhoods and as a destination for residents from across the island. We look forward to partnering with Wegmans’ talented team on the opening of this signature location.”
Brokered by RIPCO Real Estate LLC, Wegmans signed an agreement with Transformco to buy out Kmart’s lease at Astor Place, and entered into the long-term lease with Vornado.
“We were privileged to work alongside Wegmans and Vornado to arrange this landmark Manhattan retail transaction,” said Gene Spiegelman, vice chairman of RIPCO. “This transaction represents the best of New York City’s future with Wegmans long-term commitment to deliver Wegmans reputation for quality and customer service to Manhattan.”
Wegmans currently operates 106 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina. The popular grocer has a loyal customer base and its store openings are highly anticipated events in many markets. Its highly anticipated grand opening in Brooklyn in October 2019 attracted more than 25,000 shoppers and broke the retailer’s record for biggest opening day sales by far.
“Wegmans has been a reliable partner in our Brooklyn community since day one, from local hiring of NYCHA neighbors to feeding first responders at the height of the pandemic,” said Lenny Singletary, chairman of Community Board 2 Brooklyn. “I’m confident Wegmans’ commitment to community will serve their new neighbors in Manhattan well and foster a positive experience.”
A typical Wegmans store offers more than 50,000 individual products, including 2,000 organic products and up to 300 varieties of cheeses, along with extensive fresh meat, seafood and produce departments. The retailer is renowned for its fresh bakery and prepared food selection ranging from burgers and pizza to sushi and Asian cuisine. Many locations include dining space and full bars serving wine, beer and liquor.