MIDDLESEX BOROUGH – A Super Foodtown that will contain a True Value hardware store will be filling the space formerly occupied by Pathmark on Lincoln Boulevard.
“I’m really excited,” Mayor Ron DiMura said.
The store is expected to be open by Thanksgiving, he said.
The Super Foodtown will have a full pharmacy, a large prepared food section, a cafe and a bakery. True Value will occupy about 5,000 square feet of the 50,000-square feet space.
The nearest Super Foodtown is in the Colonia section of Woodbridge while there is a Foodtown off Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick.
Cub Liquors will remain at the west side of the building.
DiMura said he hopes the decision of Super Foodtown to locate on Lincoln Boulevard will stimulate more retail development in that section of the borough.
The borough has already approved a proposal to build 212 apartments just east of the Pathmark site. That developer, Massimo Pinelli, also constructed The Lofts complex at 150 Lincoln Blvd.
The redevelopment of Lincoln Boulevard has become a major priority for borough officials.
The corridor at the southern edge of town was once the heart of the borough’s economy. Located next to the railroad tracks, it was a prime location for industry that provided jobs for residents in the post-World II boom while the rest of the borough was known for its greenhouses and being the world’s largest producer of orchids.
But as the country’s industrial base eroded in the late 20th century, Lincoln Boulevard began a slow decline with businesses closing, jobs vanishing and the borough’s property tax base evaporating.
“We’re making good progress,” DiMura said.
The borough council will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 29 to approve a redevelopment agreement with Midmarket Urban Renewal, headquartered on South Avenue, for the 3.9-acre property.
The council is also expected to adopt a financial agreement with the developer that calls for a PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program for the next 30 years. PILOTS are allowed under New Jersey state law to encourage the redevelopment of distressed properties.
The agreements had been scheduled to be adopted at Tuesday’s council meeting, but the vote was postponed for a week to allow all six members of the council to discuss the matter,
The draft agreements can be found at middlesexboro-nj.gov/redevelopment-projects/supermarket-redevelopment.
The agreement calls for the developers to pay the borough approximately $3.6 million over the next 30 years. The project will create 25 jobs during construction and 75 full-time jobs when the stores open.
Because the borough has not updated its Lincoln Boulevard redevelopment plan for a decades, the borough has started a series of public meetings to gather public input on the future of Lincoln Boulevard.
The mayor said he wants “realistic redevelopment” in the borough.
“We want to be wise about it,” he said, adding that, unlike other towns, Middlesex does not want to aggressively pursue multi-family development.
Two meetings have already been held and three more meetings are scheduled.
The preliminary dates and topics for the public meetings, which will all start at 7 p.m. in Borough Council Chambers in the municipal building, 1200 Mountain Ave., are:
June 28: West Market area (near Pathmark)
Aug. 23: Transition areas
Oct. 25: Recap and additions.
The borough council has also begun the process to see if Baekland Avenue and Bound Brook Road between Greenbrook Road to Warrenville Road should be designated as redevelopment areas.
(By Mike Deak / February 26, 2018 / https://eu.mycentraljersey.com/) Pic: David P. Willis