Trader Joe’s, one of the New York City’s most beloved independent grocery chains, could soon open up shop in a recently vacated landmarked venue near the Manhattan onramp of the Queensboro Bridge at 405 East 59th Street. The application is currently under review by the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) which is expected to provide feedback on proposed upgrades to the building’s facçade and historic interior spaces.
Drawings provided by developer Madd Equities reveal only minor changes to the arched brick exterior of the Upper East Side building. This includes new signage, light fixtures, façade repairs, and installation of automatic doors and a lift to accommodate patrons with limited mobility. Within the venue, the project team would clean and refinish the historic Rafael Guastavino-designed vaulted ceilings and structural columns, update the building’s existing mechanical areas, and install new flooring appropriate for a grocery store.
Located in Sutton Place immediately south of the Queensboro Bridge, the building was previously occupied by Food Emporium, which closed as a result of bankruptcy filings by the chain’s former owners A&P. Given the location’s tenant history, Trader Joe’s is reportedly optimistic that proposals for the new market will be deemed appropriate by the LPC.