Stop & Shop is (subject to court approval) taking over Waldbaum’s. Now what?

projectstopshopHere is a tip for all you prospective landlords: the shorter the lease, the better. I get how Long Beach was in a different state back in 1983, but oh boy if that 99 year lease was only 20 years with a few 10 year renewal options….. Right now I believe the city gets $92,000 a year. In this day in age that could have been $92,000 monthly. That alone is why change needs to come to that center in some shape or form. The supermarket building will most likely remain the same, but how about the rest?

Re-imaging that land is something which has been talked about for years. The strip stores do not compliment our downtown, so I’m pleased to read in the LB Herald how our city is entertaining change:

“According to [City Manager Jack] Schnirman, feedback the city received from residents during recent public-input meetings to update the city’s Comprehensive Plan indicated that they would like to see the Waldbaum’s shopping center property developed into something else. [LINK]

“..Potential plans presented at the public-input meetings included relocating City Hall to the shopping plaza, and building a mixed-use retail and residential development with a cultural center there.[LINK]

I am guessing if the city went this route, the existing city hall /Kennedy Plaza would be sold off to developers. The Shopping Center could potentially house a larger ‘Kennedy Plaza’ town square, which would be neat. Is this the way to go? Should we just throw a bunch of apartments on top of the strip center and call it a day?

The center’s location adjacent to the LIRR & downtown make it so ripe for redevelopment in a smart way. It’s interesting to see our city think outside the box. Do you like the idea of moving City Hall? I’d love to know what you folks would like to see at the center?



Waldbaum’s on the way out?

“A&P is headed for bankruptcy — and that means another New York institution could be gone for good.

The corporate parent of the A&P, Pathmark, Waldbaum’s and Food Emporium grocery chains — the country’s biggest company 50 years ago — is set to file for Chapter 11 as soon as this week, sources told The Post.

Read the full article: A&P could soon be gone for good

What’s to happen with the infamous 99 year lease [link]? Will another company just buy it out? The lease can be assigned.

What supermarket will take over that space? I would love to see us get a supermarket that’s actually rated high on this consumer list:


The 99 year Ground Lease for the Waldbaum’s Shopping Center

Here’s a makeshift-lease abstract for that infamous 99 year lease we all keep hearing about. Signed in 1983, this is a ground lease for the entire property between The City of Long Beach [lessor] & Long Beach Plaza Corp [Lessee]. There is a common misconception how this lease is for the Waldbaum’s itself. Please understand that’s not the case. Waldbaum’s [A&P] is just one of the many tenants in that center.

[UPDATE: According to some of the comments, A&P actually is Long Beach Plaza Corp.]

Take this info for what it is; there could be mistakes. Due to time restraints and boredom, this info is also incomplete. I’ll try to upload a scan of the entire lease as soon as I can.


LANDLORD: City of long Beach
TENANT: Long Beach Plaza Corp.
TERMS:  Ground Lease for the entire property.
LEASE DATE: May 20, 1983.
AMENDMENT (October 21, 1983): Additional property: Lots 5, 46, 47 block 95. Same terms modifying additional property to lease lease.  $2400 per annum. (There are no other amendments that I know of)

Tenant Pays Basic Rent + Additional Rent (triple net including tax, insurance, maintenance, etc.)


Equal monthly installments in advance 1st of month

Terms(Signed May 20, 1983) Basic Rent (per annum) Lease Amendment (October 21st, 1983) (per annum)* Total (per annum) paid in equal monthly installments in advance on the 1st of the month
construction period $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
First 5 years after $30,000.00 $2,400.00 $32,400.00
years 6 to 10 $40,000.00 $2,400.00 $42,400.00
years 11 to 15 $50,000.00 $2,400.00 $52,400.00
years 16 to 20 $60,000.00 $2,400.00 $62,400.00
years 21 to 25 $70,000.00 $2,400.00 $72,400.00
years 26 to 30 $80,000.00 $2,400.00 $82,400.00
years 31 to 40 $90,000.00 $2,400.00 $92,400.00
years 41 to 50 $100,000.00 $2,400.00 $102,400.00
years 51 to 60 $110,000.00 $2,400.00 $112,400.00
years 61 to 70 $120,000.00 $2,400.00 $122,400.00
years 71 to 80 $130,000.00 $2,400.00 $132,400.00
years 81 to 90 $140,000.00 $2,400.00 $142,400.00
Remaining $150,000.00 $2,400.00 $152,400.00


  • Along with the BASIC RENT, tenant also pays ADDITIONAL EXPENSES: Insurance, taxes, permits, fees, obligations, etc. All prorates on a daily basis, 
  • All contesting fees, tax certiorari appeals, rebates,refunds etc. belong to tenant.
  • I didn’t see any mention of  ‘Base Year’ credits. As far as I can tell, Long Beach Plaza Corp. pays 100% of all taxes and additional rent.


  • This was a neighborhood development program area. Appropriate for urban renewal ‘project area’
  • Use of Property: First 30 years may only be used for specific plan.
  • Tenant responsible for upkeep. Required to maintain in good repair / good condition.
  • Tenant must provide Generally liability insurance.
  • Indemnity Agreement: Landlord (Long Beach) is held harmless against liabilities, lawsuits, penalties, claims, liens, demands, etc.
  • Tenant may sublease/assign after 5 years term of lease (May 19 1988)
  • Surrender at end of term, property must be in good order, etc.

Lease termination:

  • Tenant to cover cost of restoration if an event (like Sandy) occurs. Landlord can terminate lease if this isn’t obliged.
  • Condemnation: (see scan below)

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 10.25.13 AM

  • Termination clause expenses prorated
  • No modification of lease without consent of both parties.
  • Termination of lease. Reason of default. Monetary defaults
  • Default events : failure to pay basic rent 15 day grace period.
  • Tenant has option to terminate lease.

Most of what else is in there is typical stuff you’d find in a blumberg form, I’ll try to get an actual scan of the entire lease as soon as I can.

Project Waldbaum’s Shopping Center. Hell’s Strip Stores. Shopping Plaza Makeover. Desperate Landlord. Queer Eye for the Straight Shopping Center. Vacancy Nightmares.

Something needs to be done with the Waldbaum’s Shopping Center, and its landlord, the City of Long Beach, is even admitting it. Taken from the recently released City of LB Proposed Annual Budget for Fiscal Year July 1st, 2012 – June 30th, 2013 was this little bit:

The City has several assets that are currently underutilized. Consider all options regarding the Waldbaum’s Shopping Center property, which is currently leased for $82,400 per year.

Only $82,400 per year? Hmm… that seems kinda low, but there is so much involved with a lease, so it’s hard to tell with just that one number. Who pays the expenses (insurance, school/gen/lb taxes, CAM)? Do they have triple net leases? Base years? etc.. Commercial leases can get very complicated. And does $82,400 per year include Waldbaum’s rent or just the strip stores? Suffice it to say, that center could do much better for the city. Waldbaums itself isn’t going anywhere since it has a ninety-nine year lease (or so I’ve been told), but those strip stores need to be re-imagined. They’re underutilized; they don’t fit the character of our downtown and they don’t promote new and progressive ideas which are basically rebuilding communities all across america: Smart Growth, Complete Streetswalkability, etc.

I have no idea what the city has in mind for that space, but here are a bunch that have been kicking around this blog (and in my head) for a while:

A Performing Arts Center

Back in December I suggested the idea of converting the vacant Temple Beth El (570 W. Walnut St., Long Beach, NY 11561) into a performing arts center. Yes, I do realize the temple’s current location is not ideal for a music venue (nearby residents would have a hissy fit). So Mary Ellen of the West End Beautification Association took this idea one step further by suggesting, “What if we can find somebody to buy the temple and move it to a better location?” Her idea is totally insane, outside the box and I totally love it:

  • We would be preserving a historical building.
  • Open up 570 W. Walnut Street for proper residential development.
  • Get our performing arts center.

I think the Waldbaum’s shopping center would be an ideal location since it’s in the center of city amenities (LIRR, restaurants, parking, stores, main road access from the rest of Long Island). According to my poll from last December, the people of Long Beach want a Performing Arts Center. Let’s do it! All what we need now are deep pockets filled with lots of money.

Smart Growth / Dense & Diverse Housing (How about Artspace?)

With all that wasted Waldbaum’s shopping center space, Long Beach has a unique opportunity to increase its tax base, offer diverse housing and cozy up the downtown in one swift move: by developing the strip center under the principal of Smart Growth.

Smart growth is an urban planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centers to avoid sprawl. It also advocates compact, transit-orientedwalkablebicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools,complete streets, and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.

Smart growth values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus. Its goals are to achieve a unique sense of community and place; expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices; equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development; preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources; and promote public health. 

(Source – Smart Growth Wikipedia)

That location is walkable to the LIRR, buses, taxis, restaurants, shops and beach; that all sounds like a prime Smart Growth location to me! Because of all this, the impact dense housing would have in that area would be minimal.

I think we should think outside the box on this one. Instead of doing the Long Island norm (condos, multi-family house developments, giant two-family ranches or fake stucco one family houses that droop as they age), why not bring some spark to the area with Artspace? Last I heard, Long Island has a hard time keeping the kids from moving out (lack of culture, lack of diverse housing, too expensive, wants to live in a cool place). Artspace can help with that. From their website:

Artspace’s mission is to create, foster, and preserve affordable space for artists and arts organizations. We pursue this mission through development projects, asset management activities, consulting services, and community-building activities that serve artists and arts organizations of all disciplines, cultures, and economic circumstances. By creating this space, Artspace supports the continued professional growth of artists and enhances the cultural and economic vitality of the surrounding community.

What a way to bring culture, more diverse housing options and an increased tax base to our city. Artspace in Long Beach would be a one of a kind for Nassau County; possibly opening up opportunities for other great stuff. Plus, the building itself would be a conversation piece. The Waldbaum’s center has plenty of parking for residents who would live there. You have a grocery store right next door. Traffic won’t be much more than what the current strip stores provide already, but who needs to drive around when you have the LIRR, buses, taxies, decobike kiosks, beach, restaurants and stores all at your doorstep?

If you want to see an example of Artspace, drive 45 miles east to Patchogue where you will find a brand new Art Space building:

Screen shot 2009-12-30 at 2.14.57 PMArtspace’s project in the Village of Patchogue, a Long Island community about 50 miles east of New York City, will be a new five-story building with 45 affordable live/work spaces on the upper floors and retail space at street level. Located in downtown Patchogue, the $16 million project represents both economic revitalization and the opportunity to strengthen a growing arts community; many Main Street storefronts are now occupied by artists and creative businesses. 

Bring The Stores Up To The Street

If changes are ever to be made, this seems to be a likable option. Bringing the strip of stores to the street will cozy up our downtown and also give the tenants better exposure. There would also be room for parking in the rear. I’m sure RE brokers try to use the current layout as a bonus: The only strip center with parking in Long Beach, but folks here aren’t biting. That’s why that center is in trouble in the first place.

In either case, I agree with the City of Long Beach: The City has several assets that are currently underutilized. Consider all options regarding the Waldbaum’s Shopping Center property. 

Fish / Farmers / Arts & Crafts Market

This is a little pipe dream of mine. Any of you ever go to the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia? Or how about Pike Place Market in Seattle? Mimic those great places of commerce right here in Long Beach with our very own market! We can get the Farmer’s Market to operate inside, art’s in the plaza vendors selling their crafts, plus we can maybe attract even more local commerce.. say.. fresh fish? To take this idea one step further, how about we redevelop the bay side with a marina and have boats bring in fresh fish to be sold daily at our Long Beach Market? Oh… I can dream.

Those were just a few ideas. Anybody got others?

As per request: Waldbaums is a dump.

A reader in the comments section made a request: “write about what a dump Waldbaums is.” So, here we go:

Waldbaums is a dump.

Waldbaums (85 East Park Ave – Long Beach, NY) is dirty and gross. I never shop there, so I really don’t know what else to say on that topic. Now, about that entire shopping center…..

The Waldbaums shopping center is a dump.

That entire Waldbaums shopping center does not compliment the rest of our downtown. We always complain about parking in Long Beach. The fact that center has plenty of spaces all the time proves just how disconnected it is to the other stripstores in that area. In other words: nobody parks at that center and walks the downtown. That doesn’t sound like smart development to me…

I would love to see that entire shopping center knocked down and redeveloped. Put the parking spaces behind the stores, just like what they did in Garden City on Seventh Street. This will bring all the stores to the street and will add to our walkable community.

We probably don’t even need a giant supermarket anyways. I mean, how many rows of ketchup do you need to browse before you pick the one you like? You can find the same exact stuff at Associated (663 East Park Avenue) or C-Town (1080 West Beech Street) and with much smaller lines!! Trader Joe’s (3418 Long Beach Rd. Oceanside, NY 11572) is the best if you don’t mind the drive. Or try the Farmers Market (Kennedy Plaza, Wednesdays & Saturdays). It’s been amazing this year!