NEWARK-Brick City Development Corp. is launching a supermarketdevelopment initiative here, with the aim of bringing new grocerystores to the city as part of BCDC’s commitment to sustainabledevelopment and healthy neighborhoods.

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BCDC has identified eight potential sites that will accommodatea full service grocery store between 15,000 square feet to 40,000feet in size throughout the city. It is currently completingdemographic analysis and site-specific due diligence. BCDC is alsoprepared to provide financing for site acquisition, development andconstruction costs.

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“Understanding the real estate is a vital component of ourapproach and the lack of available sites has been one of the chiefbarriers preventing store development in the past,” says LyneirRichardson, CEO of BCDC. “We have identified eight sites in viabletrade areas that have visibility, access and parking to generatesolid sales volume. We are now going to be marketing those sites tothe grocery industry and private developers,”
Our goal is to get at least three of these sites under constructionin the next 12 to 24 months.”

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Richardson adds that BCDC also put the fundamental tools inplace to support this initiative and help simplify even expeditethe process for the grocers. “The BCDC tool box includes financing(grants and loans), an inventory of sites, technical assistance andcurrent market and demographic data,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “Toincrease awareness about opportunities in the city, BCDC is alsoreaching out to the grocers directly, grocery industry associationsand developers.”

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The grocery industry is beginning to understand there is demandfor new stores here in Newark. “The National SupermarketAssociation is supportive of the approach BCDC is undertaking andtheir commitment to providing food options,” says NSA presidentWilliam Rodriquez, who belives there is opportunity in Newark forindependent grocery store chains as well as the larger chainoperators.

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“Residents of Newark currently only have access to twofull-service stores,” says Richardson. “But a city with apopulation of 270,000 can easily support three more real grocerystores; our mission is to bring those new stores to market.”

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The capital available to support the Supermarket DevelopmentInitiative comes from a variety of sources including the recentlyannounced the $15-million Living Cities Integration Initiative.Newark was of only one of only five cities selected nationally toreceive this grant. BCDC has worked to get $4 million allocated forloans and grants for grocery store development and renovations ofbodegas here.

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“BCDC recently invested over $100,000 in funds to upgrade andstrengthen two local neighborhood stores,” Richardson tellsGlobeSt.com. “Three others stores are in various stages ofcompletion. The focus on new supermarkets is the next step inproviding a thorough offering of grocery alternatives here.”

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