Thanks, New Jersey Economic Development Authority!

Not long ago, I noted that while the New Jersey legislature is desperately trying to figure out a way to incentivize Amazon.com to locate a warehouse here, it would be really nice to give some help to brick-and-mortar retailers and sites, which employ many more people. According to several published reports, the EDA approved up to $11.4 million for the development of Gravelly Run Square, a $58 million, 270,000-square-foot shopping center in Hamilton Township. The center, to be built on vacant land by Benderson Development Co.’s Buffalo Pike Associates, could create as many as 310 full-time jobs and generate $2.9 million in local and state taxes.

The plan calls for four anchor stores, as well as other uses, and also will result in various road improvements near the site on Black Horse Pike at Wrangleboro Road. The grant will be payable over 20 years.

This project has been planned for a while, with 2009 stories discussing a $30 million, 297,000-square-foot project to be built in two phases. Benderson already has several projects in the area, including the proposed 275,000-square-foot Hamilton Square, adjacent to Gravelly Run. And retail development is a real sign of faith in both the local and national economies, since these projects look to be dominated by national category killers.

After writing and reading about so many urban projects, and the ongoing Amazon saga, it’s great to see that monies are going to suburban retail development again, too.