NYC’s Western Beef Groceries May be Turned into Luxury Condos - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, June 30, 2022

NYC’s Western Beef Groceries May be Turned into Luxury Condos

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By: Benyamin Davidsons  

New York City’s iconic cheap meat and supermarket chain may cash out in favor of real estate developments.

As reported by the NY Post, Western Beef grocery stores may be moving in a new direction.  Peter III, the company’s CEO and grandson of late founder Peter Castellanas Sr., was more interested in cashing out the real estate and building luxury condos than managing a grocery chain.  The grandson has already shuttered seven Western Beef stores to build projects including the Astor in Long Island City, where rent goes for a whopping $5,000 per month for two-bedroom units. He also created a nine-story, 159-mixed-unit development in the Bronx.  “I had a business plan, all the numbers worked out,” Peter III told Curbed. “I had some of the best economical minds available to me.”

The skyrocketing real estate prices will lead the pattern to continue, if not for his father and Western Beef board chairman Peter Jr., who is out to stop the transition.  Peter Jr.  grew up in his father’s family business, watching the grocery chain mature into a $300 million business boasting 20 stores and 2 million square feet of New York City space.  “I just want to get our business back,” Peter Jr. told Curbed. “This is my baby. This is what I live for.”  He has recently demoted his son from the position of CEO and stopped the redevelopment projects.

“[They] offered us big, big money for the real estate,” Peter Jr. said of a Western Beef located near the Marcy Projects. “They wanted to put huge condominiums over there, like they’re doing in the whole area.”  He disapproves of the idea.  He hates the notion of razing the volume warehouse style supermarkets, the first of which his father first opened roughly 30 years ago.  Despite the fact that his father was charged during his lifetime with multiple mob-related crimes including selling adulterated meat, defrauding the government in a stolen food stamps scheme, and extortion, Peter Jr. seems to have a love for his business.

Notwithstanding, Peter III is still looking to make more development deals. He has launched a real estate firm, named Cactus Asset Management.  The company manages some 25 mixed-use developments and Western Beef properties. He has redevelopment ambitions for other Western Beef stores and businesses especially in the areas of Carroll Gardens and The Bronx.


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