Just a few months shy of three years without a supermarket in the northern portion of Brick, residents frequently ask what will become of the former Pathmark store at Laurel Square.
Since the store shut its doors in 2015 as part of the bankruptcy of A&P, the shopping plaza has largely stagnated as traffic slowed and stores moved out. But Brixmor Properties, the Maryland-based owner of the site, is putting a plan in place to lure a new supermarket to the site.
Mayor John Ducey said recently that Brixmor is planning on paving the shopping center’s parking lot and modernizing its facade after At Home moves in to the former Kmart space.
At Home, described as a home decor “superstore” that mixes the concepts of Ikea and HomeGoods, will open its second store in New Jersey at the plaza in the coming months. An exact date for its opening has yet to be announced. That store will open in the space Kmart occupied for decades before closing early this month.
“The owners say once that At Home store is there and they re-do the parking lot, a grocery store shouldn’t be far behind,” said Ducey.
Sources have said Brixmor was engaged in negotiations with Foodtown and Acme, but neither deal worked out. The company is likely hoping the improvements – plus the addition of At Home – will reinvigorate the market.
“What the grocery stores are telling them is that there are eight food stores already in Brick, and they don’t feel they can support another one,” said Ducey. “But once At Home gets there, they feel they can get one there fairly quickly.”
Another, yet-to-be-identified grocery store – though smaller than a full-fledged supermarket – is planned for the former Foodtown site on Route 70, as part of a retail complex that will be located adjacent to a proposed indoor sports complex.