A deal has been signed for the Walgreens pharmacy chain to take over the D'Agostino's grocery space in Chappaqua, according to New Castle Deputy Supervisor Elise Kessler Mottel.
Mottel, talking to reporters after the monthly Millwood Task Force meeting, said that she spoke with Nick D'Agostino III, the chief executive officer for the supermarket chain, about the site's status and heard the news from him.
The decision to pull out from Chappaqua is part of a complete withdrawal from Westchester County, in which D'Agostino will just focus on its remaining, more profitable locations in New York City. The only other store remaining in Westchester is a Rye Brook location, although the company's CEO told Patch that plans for its closure are for later on. One issue that the D'Agostino chain has, according to Mottel, is that they can't compete with nearby grocery stores that have larger retail space. D'Agostino rents square footage in the tens of thousands range at the location on 411 King St.
Mottel said that D'Agostino, a Chappaqua resident, informed her a broker was used to help find other grocery stores willing to takeover the lease for the building, but there was “very little interest on the part of the supermarkets.” Walgreens offered a deal that was economical for D'Agostino.
It is not clear if the store, which suffered damage from Tropical Storm Irene and is closed as a result, will reopen, Mottel explained.
“He didn’t say if he was reopening or not," she said. The store's ultimate pull out from Chappaqua is not clear, either.
With the loss of D'Agostino's local store, Chappaqua residents will be left without a dedicated supermarket in the hamlet, a scenario that was not officially confirmed during the summer but worried a number of residents. The nearest grocery stores include A&P locations in Mount Kisco and Millwood, and a Key Food in Pleasantville. Although Walgreens, according to Mottel, plans to devote 30 percent of its inventory to food-related items, they will not include foods found in grocery stores, such as fresh produce.
Not having a grocery store near downtown Chappaqua also presents a convenience challenge, as the Village Market, which sells fresh food, is closed during evenings and Sundays. D'Agostino also served as a convenient location that was commuter friendly.
“I work in the city, and I only have the weekends to shop or the evenings, so I went to D’Agostino’s a lot on my way home from the train station," Mottel said.
It is unclear yet whether any business will emerge to fill the void in the hamlet. One scenario Mottel hopes will happen is that Walgreens would offer products sold in grocery stores. The company already has a program in place that does this, which is generally geared towards low-income areas that supermarkets do not cover. In these locations, produce, meats and other grocery store-type foods are sold.