NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Twice the New Brunswick Parking Authority has tried to bring in supermarkets into downtown New Brunswick, on Kirkpatrick Street. And twice, they wilted and died like week-old lettuce.
Now, TAPinto New Brunswick has learned the New Brunswick Parking Authority, which oversees the property, is considering other options for the space wedged into the 49,000 square-foot bottom floor of the parking deck.
"The parking authority is open to uses of the space other than a supermarket," Mitchell Karon, the executive director of the New Brunswick Parking Authority, said in an email interview last week.
When asked if the Parking Authority has been in touch with any potential tenants, he responded, "There has been interest in the space by others. At this time there has been no commitments made."
The space has been vacant since SuperFresh abruptly shut its doors early last month.
The owners of the supermarket owe the Parking Authority $768,000 in back rent, according to a spokesperson for the city.
Before SuperFresh, there was FreshGrocer. The Pennsylvania-based company leased the space from the Parking Authority for about 18 months before closing in 2014. It also owed the Parking Authority back rent - about $1 million.
The Parking Authoirty has "enlisted the help of Pierson Commercial Real Estate to assist in obtaining a tenant or tenants as we will consider subdividing the space," Karon said via email.
Karon confirmed the Parking Authority is about $390 million in debt, but added that "the debt is revenue bonds issued to finance public parking projects. The authority is self-sufficient and utilizes parking fees and rental income to pay down its financial commitments."