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Save Morton Williams supermarket rally rescheduled

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | The rally to save the Morton Williams supermarket has been rescheduled due to bad weather.

The plan had been to hold the event Tuesday afternoon. However, heavy rainfall is forecast, so it’s instead going to happen either Sun., Dec. 11, around midday or next Tues., Dec. 13, around 4 p.m. The date is still being determined.

The ad hoc group Save Our Supermarket, or S.O.S., plans to release petitions with more than 7,000 signatures by local residents who want the longtime market to stay at or near its current location, at Bleecker Street and LaGuardia Place.

Meanwhile, the city’s Department of Education is mulling whether even to build a new public school at the Greenwich Village site, and has until the end of next year to make a decision.

New York University, which owns the coveted corner property, has said that, despite its promise during the block’s rezoning process 10 years ago, there is now no longer any room in its new “Zipper Building” on Mercer Street building to house the potential supermarket.

Responding to the pressure of the massive petition effort, local politicians and N.Y.U. recently jointly pledged to work to keep the market at or near the Bleecker Street corner.

In recent years, Community Board 2 has advocated for a new school at the Morton Williams site. Jeannine Kiely, the board’s chairperson, noted, “The city’s option to build a 100,000-square-foot D.O.E. public school was the main community giveback as part of the 2012 N.Y.U. rezoning and represents value of approximately $65 million to NYC taxpayers.

“C.B. 2 has long supported both the continuation of a grocery store on the N.Y.U. superblock, as well as a new D.O.E. public school,” Kiely said.

However, S.O.S., for its part, says it simply makes the most sense just to leave the existing market where it is now and instead find a new site for the potential public school.

Because D.O.E. has said there is no urgent need for additional seats within this part of the local school district, C.B. 2 has advocated for the school to be slated for special-needs students drawn from throughout the city.

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