NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - SuperFresh abruptly shut its doors over the weekend, marking yet another setback in the Parking Authority's attempts to install a supermarket on the bottom floor of the parking deck on Kirkpatrick Street.
The owners of the supermarket, who rent the space from the Parking Authority, had fallen behind in their monthly rent payments. As a result, the NBPA filed for eviction, according to a release from the city.
The final day of business was scheduled to be June 28, but store management moved quickly to close, the city stated.
The owners of the supermarket owe the Parking Authority $768,000 in back rent, according to a spokesperson for the city.
The city tried to work with the owners "in an effort to maintain a downtown supermarket for the benefit and convenience of our residents," according to the city.
That included the reduction in the supermarket's space and a nearly 60 percent reduction in its rent.
The fate of the SuperFresh was a subject of conversation at the Parking Authority's May 22 meeting. Three residents asked about the store. One resident said she was alarmed by the fact that the supermarket had cut back on its stock and closed off sections of its store in recent months.
Christopher Roberts, a candidate for County Committee, said that "It's a bad location for a grocery store. There's not many houses near it. Why is there continuous investments in this grocery store because it seems like every time they open something there, it doesn't work out for the business?"
FreshGrocer, a Pennsylvania-based company, leased the space from the Parking Authority and opened for business in November 2012. It closed after 18 months and still owes the Parking Authority about $1 million in back rent.
Key Food Marketplace took over the space in 2015. In 2017, it rebranded itself as SuperFresh.
According to Monday's press release, the city is "disappointed by this outcome, but discussions regarding the future of the space are ongoing as we search for new tenants."