A new grocery store will appear in the former Waldbaum Food Mart location at 35 Main St., sometime in May or June. The new store, PriceRite, is part of the ShopRite, Wakefern cooperative.
"I got countless phone calls from residents to our office in New York. You have to bring in another grocery store," said Dave Brause of Brace Realty, the store owner. The building is about 50 years old, he said, and it has always been a grocery store. First it was Grand Union, then in 2008, it became Waldbaum Food Mart, which closed in 2011. The PriceRite is scheduled to open in May or June 2013. You will kill the neighborhood if it isn't a grocery store, callers told Brause.
The downtown location is central to numerous elderly housing complexes within walking distance, including Kimberly Place, Danbury Commons, Palace View, Bishop Curtis Homes and the Glen in Rogers Park. Danbury and the Housatonic Area Regional Transit organization are running buses from this area to the North Street shopping center for grocery shopping. This service has been running for the last year since A&P filed for bankruptcy and Waldbaum Food Mart closed at 35 Main St.
"This is a big thing for Main Street," said Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton. "Everyone has been using this location to buy groceries for many, many years."
Andrea Gartner, executive director of City Center Danbury, said in a prepared press release this lease came about by the joint efforts of the landlord, the grocery store company and the city. She said the grocery store is the right fit and she looks forward to working with this team to fill other Main Street vacancies in the future.
Jim Dorey, vice president of merchandising and marketing with PriceRite said the store will employ about 100 people, and the company will spend about $5 million renovating it. He said Shop Rite operates about 250 grocery stores in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PriceRite will open its 50th store later this week. Its locations are in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island.
The 70 families who own ShopRite stores are the owners of the Wakefern cooperative. PriceRite is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wakefern.
"You will find we do offer the lowest prices," said Bill Britton, director of real estate and human resources with Price Rite.