Saratoga Springs

Price Chopper Limited to close in downtown Saratoga Springs

A look at Price Chopper Limited on Railroad Street Wednesday. The downtown Saratoga Springs market is set to close in April.

A look at Price Chopper Limited on Railroad Street Wednesday. The downtown Saratoga Springs market is set to close in April.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The small Price Chopper market in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs will close its doors in a month.

The Schenectady-based company said Wednesday that the Price Chopper Limited at 55 Railroad Place had lost business to the much-larger supermarket only two-thirds of a mile away, on Route 50, after it was converted from a Price Chopper to a Market 32 in November 2019.

With its 10-year lease in the Saratoga Market Center building expiring, the company decided to shutter the store at 6 p.m. April 16. All 35 employees have been offered comparable jobs at other stores.

West Side Management of Saratoga, which manages Market Center for owner Bonacio Construction, said Wednesday it has received many inquiries about the space. It would not elaborate on the status of any negotiations, but said an announcement will be made soon about a new tenant.

The Price Chopper Limited is only 19,000 square feet, one-third the size of a typical newer Chopper and one-fifth the size of the chain’s largest stores.

After the company began discussing closure of a 23,000-square-foot, circa-1957 Chopper on Railroad Place, residents said they were worried there would be no affordable option for basic groceries within walking distance of the city’s core neighborhoods. 

The Price Chopper Limited was the company’s response.

Then-CEO Neil Golub said in 2011 that it was an unusual project for his company, whose new stores were typically at least 40,000 square feet. Developer Sonny Bonacio said at the time the format — a market on the ground floor of a luxury apartment building — was unique north of the New York metropolitan area.

The market opened April 29, 2012.

But parkability apparently trumped walkability in a region where so many people own cars.

In a news release Wednesday, company spokeswoman Mona Golub said, “In response to the increased residential development and advocacy for a more sustainable and walkable downtown, we signed a 10-year lease in 2012 to operate a limited variety market beneath the Market Center Apartments. With a 70,000 square foot Price Chopper SuperCenter around the corner on Route 50, that downtown location, with its limited parking, has served as more of a convenience store for fill-in grocery shopping trips. 

“When we upgraded the Price Chopper SuperCenter to a Market 32 in November of 2019, the much larger store’s expanded offerings attracted even more of the little store’s traffic. Ultimately, after reviewing Price Chopper Limited’s current and future viability, we’ve chosen not to renew our lease.”

The Limited Chopper was a unique experiment, the company said Wednesday. There are no others and there are no plans to build another like it. The company does, however, operate a number of small supermarkets that remain viable because of their location, proximity to competition, or other factors.

Schenectady-based Price Chopper/Market 32 and Buffalo-based Tops Markets late last year became business lines of Northeast Grocery Inc., a parent company created by the merger of the two supermarket chains.

Categories: -News-, Business, Saratoga County, Saratoga Springs

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