Residents around Abingdon Square are no longer amused by the cheerful “Mrs. Green’s Is Coming Soon!” announcement on the hoarding around 99 Bank Street. More than a year has gone by since the construction of this temporary structure, and the deteriorating plywood covered with layers of flayed advertising posters has become a neighborhood eyesore. WestView News decided it was time for yet another update on the situation. To spare our readers the usual evasive response from the parent company’s public relations firm (similar to the results of our two previous requests in the August and October 2014 issues), this time we went straight to the source.
On February 6th we mailed a letter to Patrick Brown, the CEO of Natural Markets Food Group, Mrs. Green’s parent company in Irvington, New York, with a CC to the president of the 99 Bank Street co-op board, and asked for answers to three questions: “1. Does NMFG still have plans to open this store? 2. If so, do you have a new opening date? 3. Can you give us reasons for the delay?” and ended our letter with “We hope our paper can assure its thousands of readers in the West Village that Mrs. Green’s will, indeed, be coming soon.”
A polite letter, we thought, making reasonable requests, to which we received no response from either party. After two weeks of silence we then sent an email to the PR man—“Our readers would like to know the reason for the delay, and whether the store will in fact open at all”—and received this response: “We understand that the delays have been frustrating for the community (they are very frustrating for us as well). But things are still moving forward, with the opening scheduled for early summer. No new information beyond that.”
In the meantime, now that we know we’re going to have to look at that shoddy hoarding for many months to come, do you think it would be too much to ask the co-op board at 99 Bank Street, where a small apartment sells for a million dollars, to do a little tidying up?