Midwood Gets $30M Loan From JP Morgan to Build Whole Foods-Anchored Retail Asset

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Malls may be struggling, but a developer is betting that the western half of Long Island is ripe for grocery-anchored retail development.

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Midwood Investments has locked up a $30 million construction loan from J.P. Morgan Chase to build 61,000 of store space in Garden City, N.Y., just beyond Queens’ eastern boarder, Commercial Observer can exclusively report. The site, at 867 East Gate Boulevard, will be anchored by a 56,000-square-foot Whole Foods supermarket and will also include a detached 5,000-square-foot commercial building.

Midwood, a longtime owner of the property, had leased much of the six-acre site to PepsiCo, which ran a bottling plant there that has since closed down, according to Long Island Business News. Five million square feet of retail space already stands within a half-mile radius—most prominently in the form of the Roosevelt Field Mall and the Gallery at Westbury Plaza, but Midwood, led by CEO John Usdan, is betting that the abundant supply will be a tailwind, not a hindrance.

“We observed the influx of new shoppers and residents to the area and decided it was a perfect time to bring Whole Foods Market and other terrific retailers to the neighborhood,” Usdan said in a statement. “The loan we secured…will ensure that we continue to provide vibrant retail amenities for both area residents and visitors.”

John Petrocelli Construction and Darr Construction will oversee work on the development, which will also have parking for 236 cars.

The location will be Whole Foods’ third in Nassau County, joining existing stores in Jericho and Manhasset. The high-end food seller, which Amazon purchased two years ago, also has locations farther west in Long Island’s Suffolk County: a Smithtown store that opened this month, and an older spot in Lake Grove.

Awash in well-heeled shoppers, western Long Island’s retail centers haven’t hurt for tenants even as dowdier malls elsewhere in the country have bled revenue. Samsung; Macy’s; Untuckit, a men’s shirt maker; and Egg New York, a children’s boutique, have all announced new stores at Simon Property Group’s Roosevelt Field already this year.

A spokeswoman for J.P. Morgan declined to comment.