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Could Somers Point be getting another supermarket?
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SOMERS POINT

Could Somers Point be getting another supermarket?

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Somers Point

The Walgreens at Groveland Avenue and New Road in Somers Point could be demolished to make way for a new Aldi supermarket.

SOMERS POINT — National store chains have put their money on the city by opening stores such as Target, Chipotle and Taco Bell, which are all coming to town this year.

Aldi, a supermarket chain, has also explored the possibility of opening a store in town, even though the city already has three supermarkets in town, all on Bethel Road — ShopRite, Acme and Target.

Several months ago, attorney Steven Nehmad of the Nehmad, Davis and Goldstein law firm came before City Council on behalf of Provco Partners L.P. to build an Aldi on the corner of Groveland Avenue and New Road, which is currently a Walgreens pharmacy.

According to city records, Provco Partners made inquiries with the Somers Point Finance and Redevelopment Subcommittee in March and again in July about the possible redevelopment of the 2.74-acre parcel at Groveland Avenue and New Road.

A redevelopment law passed in 2014 by City Council declared the entire city as an area in need of rehabilitation. Passage of the redevelopment resolution paved the way to make the city a more inviting place for new businesses. The law authorizes, among other things, the rehabilitation and/or the demolition of existing sites and the construction of new improvements.

City Council adopted a resolution at the Sept. 9 meeting that authorized a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and Provco Partners L.P. The resolution designated Provco as the interim conditional redeveloper of the site where Walgreens is located.

City Councilman Sean McGuigan said the Memorandum of Understanding was a means to open negotiations on the finer points of the redevelopment agreement, and not was not an approval of the agreement.

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The proposal presented by Nehmad on behalf of Provco calls for the demolition of the existing Walgreens and reconfiguration of the site and the construction of a 21,659-square-foot building with 102 parking spaces and a loading dock.

Road improvements included in the proposal include a full-movement driveway on West Groveland Avenue and a left turn-out restriction from the driveway on New Road. The project would also consist of a new signalized intersection at New Road and Groveland Avenue to include road widening and a dedicated left-turn lane onto West Groveland Avenue. New on-site and off-site drainage is also proposed.

While the Memorandum of Understanding allows City Council to designate Provco as the proposed redeveloper, Provco still needs approval from the Planning Board, as well as the New Jersey Department of Transportation for the signal changes on New Road, a state roadway.

City Administrator Jason Frost said that beyond the presentation at the September Council meeting there is nothing officially happening between the city and Provco Partners for Aldi’s.

“The attorney made the presentation to the City Council and that is it,” said Frost. “The next step would be, if they wanted, to file a formal submission and make an application with the Planning Board. It would need to be reviewed by our redevelopment attorney, Jim Franklin, as well. The attorney for Provco making an application for a formal submission of the project to the Somers Point Planning Board would get the process moving, but as of now, there is nothing scheduled.”

Mayor Jack Glasser said there is nothing concrete that has been decided following the Sept. 9 meeting approving Provco as the proposed redeveloper. The mayor added that all drainage issues would need to be resolved prior to any improvements being done.

“Some of the strip shopping areas in the city were built years before there were regulations about drainage and storm runoff. All of those factors would need to be considered ahead of anything else,” Glasser said.

There is currently no additional date for Provco Partners to appear before City Council. The Walgreens at Groveland Avenue and New Road continues to operate as a pharmacy.

Aldi’s is a German grocery store chain with more than 9,000 supermarkets in 20 countries, including one on the Black Horse Pike in Egg Harbor Township. It was opened by two brothers, Karl and Theo Albrecht in 1946 in Essen, Germany, according to the company’s website. The name is short for Albrecht Discount.

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