2010-12-03 / Front Page

Cops Dispel Stop & Shop Rumors

Several Stores Set For Transit Plaza
By Howard Schwach
The rumors abound. They bounce around the Internet and on west end landlines.

The New Stop & Shop Supermarket on Beach 73 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard has lots of security. The New Stop & Shop Supermarket on Beach 73 Street and Rockaway Beach Boulevard has lots of security. “The new Stop & Shop supermarket is dangerous,” one typical rumor says. “There have been robberies inside the store, and a number of people have been robbed in the parking lot.”

Gerard Romski, the CEO of Arverne by the Sea, the developer of the supermarket as well as the nearby homes, wants to dispel those rumors.

“With all the security inside and outside the store, Stop & Shop, Beach 73 Street is probably one of the safest places in Rockaway,” Romski told The Wave on Monday.

Concerned that the numbers of west enders who use the supermarket is dropping because of the rumors of violence, Romski called to say that there are both uniformed and plainclothes private security officers inside and outside the store whenever it is open.

“It’s tough to fight the rumors that the store and the area are dangerous,” Romski said, “but we have to try. It is safe to shop there, and there have been no incidents of either theft or assault at the supermarket.”

Local police sources agree.

Police officers at the 100 Precinct in Rockaway Park told The Wave that, although they too have heard the rumors, there have been no reported crimes at the new supermarket.

Romski is concerned not only because numbers are dropping at the supermarket, but because the new stores in the planned Transit Plaza at Beach 67 Street are starting to take shape as well.

Romski says that, while the leases are not yet ‘hard,’ he expects to see a Chase Bank, a LIPA community service center, a dry cleaner and “an Italian joint,” which, despite other rumors to the contrary, will not be a chain restaurant such as Olive Garden.

Following the transit plaza shops, construction will begin on the new charter school at Beach 65 Street, an amenity mandated by the developer’s deal with New York City.

“The Stop & Shop is important to Rockaway as well as to the Arverne by the Sea community,” Romski said. “It would be a shame if it were to fail because of a chain of rumors.”

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