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Wakefern Food Corp. is building a $65-million warehouse and distribution center in Newark, NJ. The facility will create 120 jobs and distribute food products to ShopRite supermarkets in the Northeast. The distribution center is being developed for Wakefern by Forem Facility Management.
The project, which will be located in the city’s East Ward at the former site of the Newark Farmer’s Market, received a $45-million Urban Transit Hub Credit from the state. The 180,000-square-foot refrigerated warehouse will feature alternative energy capabilities, including solar panels on the roof and machinery operated by hydrogen fuel cells. The facility is expected to be completed within 12 months.
“Despite the most challenging economy most of us have ever seen, Newark is continuing to grow and develop, to bring job opportunities and prosperity to our residents,” Mayor Cory Booker said at the Aug. 3 groundbreaking ceremony. “This project joins the increasingly large roster of new developments taking place in our great city during our ‘groundbreaking’ year, which will see over $700 million in new development, the construction of over 2 million square feet of new or renovated space, and the creation of over 2,500 construction jobs and over 2,500 permanent jobs.”
“The distribution center that begins rising from this site today will be a prime example of how this administration has aligned plans and incentives to spur development and job creation, despite an extremely difficult economic environment for construction projects,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic and Housing Development & Brick City Development Corp. (BCDC) Chairman Stefan Pryor. “When we charted an economic development strategy at the outset of Mayor Booker’s administration, we saw the construction of new distribution centers as a prime opportunity to harness our seaport, airport, and rail infrastructure as job creation catalysts.”
The new building will be followed by a second phase of construction, which will see an additional 100,000 square feet.
“Industrial projects such as the Wakefern Distribution Center can play an important role in the economic growth of Newark,” said Lyneir Richardson, CEO, Brick City Development Corp. “Wakefern Corporation, a well respected name in the food industry, is an ideal use for this urban site. It has minimal impact of local services, takes advantages of our exceptional highway and transportation networks and brings 120 new jobs to the city, jobs targeted for city residents.”
BCDC recently launched a Business Attraction Strategy focused on six shovel-ready sites, targeting corporate headquarters and commercial office users. BCDC is also targeting food-related businesses, distribution and manufacturing facilities.
The Newark Farmers Market, LLC has been under its present ownership, the Forem family, since 1933, and is one of the major suppliers of fresh fruits and vegetables to the area. Aron Forem has been owner of Newark Farmers Market since 1980.
Wakefern, founded in 1947, is today’s largest retailer-owned cooperative group of supermarkets in the United States. Employing an innovative approach to wholesale business services, Headquartered in Keasbey, NJ, Wakefern operates more than 2.5 million square feet of grocery and non-food warehousing.