A deal has been reached to keep West Hartford's beloved Crown Market open.
A group of community leaders, including Henry Zachs, Alan Lazowski, Brian Newman and Leonard Udolf finalized an agreement on Friday to allow the 74-year-old landmark to operate at its current location at 2471 Albany Avenue in West Hartford, according to a release.
Two weeks ago, owner Mark Bokoff, who bought The Crown in 2009, announced he was closing the kosher market due to tough economic conditions, increasing competition and "one of the worst winters on record in a decade."
The news shook the community, which shopped at the market for decades for specialty items not available in other stores.
Community members vowed to do everything in their power to keep the store open, and they have succeeded.
According to investors, the key to keeping the market open is a new 25-year lease signed on Friday with Udolf Properties, the owner of the building. The new terms of the lease will dramatically lower operating costs at The Crown.
“We simply could not stand by and let this store just close its doors. It has been a pillar of our community for generations,” said Leonard Udolf. “By offering well-below market rates, we’ve now ensured that The Crown Market will survive. This is not a business deal for us. It is a matter of all of us working together toward a common goal. We felt that it was critical to preserve traditions that we hold dear.”
Terms of the agreement were not released.
"The Udolfs' spontaneous generosity and the investors' support have made this project a reality," Alan Lazowski said in a statement.
Bokoff said he was thrilled the market will remain open and that he would work with the new owners to ensure a smooth transition.