MAPLEWOOD, NJ – A statement from the Township indicates that the designated developer of the Maplewood Post Office site, L&M Garden State Associates has been unable to reach an agreement with Kings Food Markets to move the store across the street into the proposed new building.
L&M and Kings have been negotiating for the last five months on the move, which would have provided Kings with a larger store, but the two have not been able to agree on lease terms. Kings will remain in its existing building and L&M and Township officials will have to regroup and determine a new path forward for the project.
"Kings Food Market is committed to our valued Maplewood customers and we look forward to continuing our excellent services to them long into the future from our current location," said Judy Spires, President & CEO of Kings Food Markets in a prepared release.
In Township Committee meetings, Mayor Vic DeLuca had indicated that Kings was interested in moving to the new facility and had expressed that the move was an integral part of the plan.
In today’s prepared release, De Luca said, "While we had hoped to see the move, we are grateful for Kings’ continued commitment to Maplewood and are pleased to know the supermarket will be here for many years to come. We also look forward to working with L&M in redeveloping this site, which will bring new retail and housing opportunities to our community."
The next stage of the redevelopment process is a site plan hearing by the Maplewood Planning Board scheduled to occur in July. L&M has agreed to delay demolition of the post office building until January to allow postal operations to continue in the current building until the new postal facility opens at 195 Maplewood Avenue in November. It also avoids construction during the holiday shopping season.
Jon Cortell, on behalf of L&M Garden State Associates, LLC, said, “We will continue to work with the Township to provide a high quality development on the post office site. Plans are to locate residential and retail on that site that will supplement the town's existing assets."