CRDA Grants Approval For Grocery Store Development Project
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (October 19, 2021) – At its monthly Board Meeting today, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) Board of Directors granted approval for the Grocery Store Development Project and established a fund reservation in the amount of $18,752,500 for the construction and fit out of the grocery store by Village Supermarket, Inc. (“Village”) on Block 396 in Atlantic City.
“Atlantic City’s days as a food desert are soon to be over,” said Governor Murphy. “The work of the CRDA and various community stakeholders has led to this extremely important development that will benefit Atlantic City residents and visitors, and provide access to affordable, fresh, healthy, high quality groceries that has been long missing. This is a great day for Atlantic City and yet another example of our Administration’s dedication to revitalization and economic recovery that centers the needs of local residents at the heart of our efforts.”
“It goes without saying that Atlantic City cannot reach its full potential without a full-service supermarket that offers fresh and healthy food. This is why I am very happy to see efforts to bring a Shoprite to Atlantic City move forward,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who also serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. “I thank CRDA for the hard work it has done to get the supermarket project to this point, and I look forward to seeing it get across the finish line.”
“While New Jersey is rich in farmland, many areas of our state are food deserts, making it difficult for residents to access fresh produce. Both urban and rural areas are plagued with this issue, making it costly to eat a healthy, well balanced diet,” said Senate President Steve Sweeney. “I look forward to seeing the impact this new grocery store will have on the Atlantic City community and the surrounding area.”
“With the promise of greater access and availability of fresh and nutritious foods, CRDA’s final approval on plans for a ShopRite comes as great news for Atlantic City residents,” said Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin. “As we continue efforts to address and eliminate food deserts impacting 340,000 New Jerseyans, the planned grocery store is going to be hugely consequential for the food security, health, and wellness of local individuals and families.”
The approval is for the construction and fit out of a 54,609 square foot supermarket, with onsite parking, landscaping, lighting and fencing at 301 N. Ohio Avenue, 267 N. Ohio Avenue and 1801 Baltic Avenue, in the city of Atlantic City. It includes 44,100 square feet of a ground floor retail supermarket with an approximately 10,400 square foot mezzanine for administrative support and 227 parking spaces.
“This project is an important component of our efforts to address food insecurity in our community,” said Assemblyman John Armato (D-Atlantic). “This grocery store will serve as a place where residents can purchase the food they need without having to travel outside their neighborhoods. Having greater access to the variety of nutritious foods that will be offered here will significantly benefit the health of Atlantic City’s families.”
“Addressing food deserts in our community is supporting the well-being of our residents while simultaneously promoting economic development in Atlantic City,” said Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). “Guaranteed access to affordable, nutritious foods will encourage more families to make a home here, which will then provide a stable workforce and customer base for businesses. Our entire community stands to benefit from this project, and I look forward to seeing our city further thrive as a result.”
“This project will give access to high quality food for Atlantic City residents,” said CRDA Board Chairman Modia Butler. “A full service grocery store in Atlantic City will affect the quality of life for current community members and will enable us to attract new residents.”
“This long awaited project directly addresses the immediate concerns of Jim Johnson’s Building a Foundation for a Shared Prosperity report in 2018 and will negate Atlantic City’s status as a food desert,” said CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty.
Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. A diet consisting of mostly processed and fast foods can cause serious health concerns including heart disease and obesity.
In August 2018, the CRDA released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Consulting Services – Proposed Grocery Store Development Project to assist the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority in locating a potential site and a developer for the development of full-service grocery store. On October 16, 2018, the CRDA awarded a contract to Uplift Solutions Inc. for Grocery Store consultant services associated with the potential development of a grocery store within Atlantic City. Uplift Solutions Inc. recommended block 396 as the site for the grocery store development.
In May 2019, the Authority released a Request for Proposals for potential development partners to develop an approximately 40,000 square foot turn-key grocery store offering access to affordable, fresh foods and household products.
On August 20, 2019, the Board approved resolutions designating Village to develop and operate a grocery store located on block 396 in Atlantic City at the North West corner of Baltic and Indiana Avenues.
Village is a publicly traded company with sales of over $1.6 billion annually and operates thirty (30)
ShopRite Supermarket Stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Village was
founded in 1937 by two brothers, Nick and Perry Sumas, and the Sumas family continues to guide
Village to this day. Village has an unwavering commitment to New Jersey and its residents, and in particular Atlantic County and Atlantic City, developing and operating five (5) stores in the region. Village has particularly strong community ties to Atlantic City, as one of their founders, Perry Sumas, was the driving force in bringing the LPGA ShopRite Classic to Atlantic County, which has raised millions for local charities.
A public hearing was conducted on the application on September 2, 2021 and, based on the evidence and the solid land use planning and engineering testimony provided, the preliminary and final site plan with use, area and variances were recommended for approval by the CRDA Board.
On September 21, 2021, the Board granted Preliminary Determination of Project Eligibility (PDPE) for the Grocery Store Development Project. As a result of this approval, a public hearing was held on October 6, 2021, which provided an overview of the development of the grocery store with Village stating they have extensive experience in developing and maintaining grocery stores in many urban settings.
Village has partnered with Community Investment Strategies, Inc., to assist them with community outreach and to create job training and job fairs for Atlantic City residents to get the jobs that are being created by the project.
Board actions will take effect following the expiration of the Governor’s statutory review period.
About the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority
The only agency of its kind nationwide, the CRDA has used Atlantic City casino reinvestments as a catalyst for meaningful, positive improvement in the lives of New Jersey residents since 1984. Under the 2011 Tourism District Act, the Authority’s mission evolved from statewide projects to becoming the state’s key economic development agency for Atlantic City. CRDA’s expanded responsibilities now include land use regulation, tourism marketing and clean and safe initiatives. The CRDA also oversees Historic Boardwalk Hall (the leading entertainment venue of its size in the country) and the Atlantic City Convention Center. In total, CRDA has invested nearly $2 billion in more than 400 projects statewide, of which $1.8 billion has been invested in Atlantic City, spurring business investments and expansions, and creating permanent jobs in the process. For more information about CRDA and our projects, visit www.njcrda.com, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.