A group calling itself Save Associated is appealing to the public to assist with legal costs in preventing the closure of the Associated Supermarket at 975 Nostrand Ave. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
“Please consider making a donation to help raise funds,” Alicia Boyd, main organizer of Save Associated, told Caribbean Life on Tuesday. “We are trying to raise $25,000 for a legal fund to help with legal costs in saving the Associated Supermarket, because there is no lease and no rent protections.”
Boyd said Save Associated also wants the public to sign a petition to save the supermarket.
She said, since 1970, the Crown Heights/Flatbush community has had a supermarket at 975 Nostrand Ave., near Empire Boulevard and Sullivan Place.
On Feb. 1, 2021, Boyd said the store owners were given a 90-day notice to leave.
“The property is actually owned by a real estate investment firm in Manhattan, who is planning on building a large luxury tower in its place,” she said. “Residents in the community are now organizing to save this supermarket by putting pressure on the local elected officials, raising money for a legal defense and engaging in a political campaign to save this vital supermarket.
“Associated Supermarket, at 975 Nostrand Ave., has 90 days to vacate the premises by big time real estate investors/developers who want to build another luxury tower to price us out of our communities and increase our health risk during a global pandemic,” Boyd stressed. “This is unacceptable, and we will not stand for it.
“Now is the time for you to meet with Save Associated action group to talk about how we can work together to stop the eviction of Associated Supermarket,” she continued.
Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, the daughter of Aruban and St. Martin immigrants, who represents the area, said in a statement that she was “aware of the notice to vacate given to the Associated Supermarket.
“My office was contacted by the management team at the supermarket earlier this week,” said Richardson, representative for the 43rd Assembly District. “We have been in regular communication with them to find a solution to the matter.
“This Associated and its workers have been our neighbors, friends and strong community partners for over 30 years,” she added. “As leaders, we value this essential business and will make every effort to ensure this vital business remains in the community.”
Community activist Anthony Beck, the Jamaican American president of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life that “the community is being targeted by developers and is in the middle of a housing war against them.
“The fact that Associated is being targeted shows that not only are developers and greedy landlords willing to just displace community members, they are willing to starve them out as well by creating food deserts or implementing plans to bring in high-cost food market chains that community members will not be able to afford,” said Beckford, who is also an elected Kings County Democratic County Committee member and a progressive Democratic City Council candidate for District 45 in Brooklyn.
Beckford said he has joined community advocates from Save Associated, his fellow Council candidate, Michael Hollingsworth, who is running for the 35th District seat, and community members “to save the supermarket and the jobs of the workers as well.
“We must stop this massive plan to displace and starve the people,” he demanded. “We must put in representation in local government that will help stop these injustices and save our communities.”
Manuel “Manny” Tavares, manager of the Associated Supermarket at 975 Nostrand Ave., declined to comment on the impasse when contacted by Caribbean Life.
“Please consider making a donation to help raise funds to support our ongoing efforts to empower and educate the community,” Boyd pleaded.
For more information, go to www.saveassociated.com or call (718) 703-3086.