Supermarket inches closer to reality with 'Legoland effect'

Broker John Coladonato explores — then rejects — reasons why Goshen still doesn't have a market

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  • The Goshen Plaza (File photo by Nathan Mayberg)

Why aren’t more grocers interested in Goshen? The area lacks sufficient population, the demographics are wrong, and the 105,000-square-foot plaza is facing the wrong way.

By Geri Corey

— Goshen isn’t getting a supermarket at this time. But broker John Coladonato wants residents to know “there’s a lot going on in the background.”

Grocers are now starting to talk to him, he told Goshen Chamber of Commerce members at their July meeting. Coladonato was told that the demographics “stink” here, but he added, "Retailers are now starting to look more closely into the area.”

In fact, he said, within the last few months, he’s already brought two grocers “to second base” in talks.

Why aren't more grocers interested in Goshen? The area lacks sufficient population, the demographics are wrong, and the 105,000-square-foot plaza is facing the wrong way.

Grocers claim that having a city close to the area, like Middletown, “brings down the income level," he said.

Coladonato, the director of sales with Pyramid Brokerage Company in Newburgh, said that between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet of space is allotted for a supermarket at Goshen Plaza, but most retailers are looking for more. Increasing the square footage would squeeze other retailers at the site, he said.

Besides approaching more traditional retailers, Coladonato said he’s talked with specialty grocers, like Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace. The nearest Uncle Giuseppe’s is in Ramsey, N.J., about a 35- to 40-minute ride from Goshen.

“It’s good, a little bit different,” he said.

Mentioning Whole Foods as a possibility, Coladonato said most supermarkets learned from the success of Whole Foods Supermarkets and are now offering healthy food options. Specialty markets, including Adams Supermarket, aren’t much interested in Goshen at this time, he said.

However, talks are opening up.

“It’s the trickle down effect of Legoland," he said.

Open to suggestionsListing the pending growth of two hotels, four business buildings, and a restaurant in the Town of Goshen, Town Supervisor Doug Bloomfield said people are coming. Furthermore, Andy Berliner, owner of Amy’s Kitchen, the food processing plant that’s already received planning board approval to build on Route 17M, is a personal friend of Mr. Wegman, owner of the privately owned supermarket chain. Wegmans Food Markets was founded in 1916 in Gates, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester.

Bloomfield suggested that Coladonato come to his office to talk about this possibility. Coladonato said he’s spoken with Wegman — who said he feels “we don’t fit his box— but added he would definitely sit and talk with Bloomfield.

“We’re open to any suggestions,” he said.

The broker made clear he wasn’t sharing any supermarket names. But he did say, “I’d like to see Uncle Giuseppe's" — and said two others have shown an interest.

“I truly believe a grocery store will do well in Goshen — I don’t care what the demographics say," Coladonato concluded. "We know Goshen needs a grocery store. We’re working hard on that.”

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