Freshtown announces reopening

The owners of the Freshtown supermarket in Margaretville, which has been closed since the Irene flooding last summer, publicly announced today that the store would reopen before June 1. They also say that the CVS pharmacy at the site, which was completely destroyed in the flood, will be rebuilt after the supermarket is open.

The announcement confirms earlier statements made by the company to local officials. Last month, owners Dan and Noah Katz told a meeting of the new East Branch Flood Commission that they would be open by June 1.

The Katzes state in the release that work is moving forward now because of a preliminary settlement on an insurance claim for building damage sustained in last year's floods.

The announcement from the Katzes:

Margaretville, NY - April 10, 2012 -- Work to re-build the flood-ravaged Freshtown supermarket will begin in earnest this week with a re-opening date to be scheduled before June 1, thanks to a preliminary settlement of claims for damage on the Margaretville property. Shelving, refrigeration and other basic infrastructure equipment will begin arriving by mid-week according to owners Dan and Noah Katz.

“We are pleased to announce that because of a sizeable advance check received for our damages, we will kick start the re-construction this week and move at a pretty fast pace toward re-opening,” said Dan Katz. “This has been a long a painful process and we are really happy to be able to move forward now with an eye toward reopening as soon as possible.” Katz said a specific schedule of construction activities won’t be completed until late this week but expressed confidence that progress will be swift.

According to Noah Katz, who heads up the actual operation of the community’s only major supermarket, the store will likely re-open before all re-construction is complete. “We stayed open through most of the original transition to Freshtown and our customers stuck with us despite the inconvenience. As soon as we can get enough work done to let people shop safely, we will re-open, and then finish as soon as possible.”

The Katz brothers noted that the re-construction of the building will be done in two major phases with the supermarket being done first, to be followed later by the reconstruction of the CVS pharmacy which was also destroyed by Hurricane Irene last summer. “We have shared the pain of this storm in a really deep and personal way,” said Katz, “but our commitment to the community has never wavered.” Katz said that Freshtown has kept all key associates on its payroll, and paid them weekly since Irene hit. “The re-opening is going to be a major triumph for our associates, for us and for the community.”

The Katz brothers said that like all property owners who are re-building, their new construction will be engineered with the latest storm prevention features. “Storms of this magnitude were never envisioned when the supermarket was located here more than 40 years ago,” said Dan Katz. “While no one likes to prepare for these catastrophes, there is no question that keeping this business in the Village of Margaretville is critical to economic viability of the community. “

“We’ve heard from so many people about how much the store meant to them,” said Noah Katz. “We were really proud of what we did on the site and what we contributed to the community. All of us are eager for a happy homecoming.”