NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A new Starbucks on Route 1 South could be the crown jewel of an ambitious redevelopment in the works, known as The Edge at Raritan Heights.
The 2,000 - square - foot drive-thru Starbucks is expected to open in the summer and construction is already underway, according to a spokesperson for the international coffee franchise.
The Edge at Raritan Heights will feature 254 single and double-bedroom, multi-family units. The development is being led by Edgewood Properties, a real estate development and property management company.
It was approved by the city’s planning board several years ago.
Currently, the only business occupying the lot is an AMC Loews Movie Theater, the former site of the Route 1 flea market. The “Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que” restaurant, which was in the same lot and a few hundred feet from the theater, closed in 2017.
Developers envision another restaurant occupying the vacant space as redevelopment along the highway continues.
“Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers,” the spokesperson added.
A nearby Starbucks at The Yard@College Avenue, on the Rutgers University campus, is slated to reopen in the next few weeks following months of contractual disputes, the spokesperson added, but no date has been set.
There is also a bustling Starbucks at George and Albany streets in downtown New Brunswick.
One neighbor of the Route 1 redevelopment project will be the late Mary Ellis, a New Brunswick native and widow who passed away in the early 19th century, and who was buried in what is now a nearby parking lot overlooking the Raritan River.
Ellis’ grave is elevated some 10 feet above the parking lot and surrounded by a chain-link fence.
Also, along the highway, is a proposed four-story, 109-unit hotel slated for construction on the jughandle connecting Route 1 North to Route 18 North.
Highview Hospitality NB, LLC, based in Red Bank, was approved for the project at a November 2017 planning board meeting.
The hotel will be built in the location of the abandoned Bennigan’s Restaurant, which was previously slated to be remade into the “Buck Foston’s Roadhouse,” but the plan fell through.