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LODI, NJ-Ground has been broken for a new 69,000-sf ShopRite supermarket on this city’s Main Street in a project that local officials hope will be the catalyst of a larger downtown revitalization effort. The store is expected to open in late 2004, according to Doug Kanter, a principal of the Jersey City-based Crown Properties LLC, the project’s developer.

The new store is also a brownfield redevelopment of an old factory site and local officials are actively tying it to the so-called “smart growth” initiatives advanced by the administration of Gov. James McGreevey. “The new store will serve as an example of how responsible redevelopment can turn an economically stagnant space into a beneficial economic engine for the community,” Kanter says.

“We are also excited to begin construction on what we believe will serve as an important piece of the Main St. redevelopment puzzle,” Kanter continues. His firm is a privately-owned management company whose principals develop residential, commercial and office projects around the Garden State.

The store is expected to generate somewhere in the vicinity of $350,000 in annual tax revenues, along with 200 construction jobs and up to 300 permanent jobs. “The development plan offers more consumer choices, significant fiscal benefits, environmental reclamation and a spark to our redevelopment goals,” says Lodi mayor Gary Paparozzi.

The privately-funded project has secured approvals from both the Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey DEP. The development also requires several nearby roadway improvements.

ShopRite, a 190-store supermarket cooperative, is said to be the largest retailer-owned chain in the country. The co-op’s distribution arm, Wakefern Inc., is based in Elizabeth, NJ.

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