ROXBURY, NJ – The shopping center replacing the former Ledgewood Mall in Roxbury will have a 24-hour fitness center, its developers revealed yesterday.

Appearing before the Roxbury Planning Board, representatives of the proposed Shops at Ledgewood Commons said a 24-Hour Fitness plans to open in the mall, probably in space now occupied by Marshalls. They said Marshalls plans to remain, but will move to space adjacent to a new Walmart Supercenter that will replace the current Walmart.

The developers also revealed that the new Walmart will, like the proposed gym, be open around the clock. They said the Supercenter’s proposed “online grocery pickup” or OGP lanes will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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Walmart Plan Brings Excitement

“On behalf of the project as a whole, with the excitement that’s been generated as a result of Walmart wanting to stay there and expand their footprint … we got the ability to work with some of our tenants and some of our partners here at the mall for long-term staying and long-term leasing,” said Advance Realty Senior Development manager Bruce Katona.

Among the stores planning to stay are Marshall’s, Ashley Furniture, Barnes & Noble and Men’s Wearhouse, Katona noted.  At a prior meeting, the developers revealed new tenants are likely to include Five Below, Ulta Beauty and DSW.

“Without having the synergy of Walmart here with us, those tenants would not necessarily been quite as interested,” Katona told the board. “The combination of working with Walmart there is they bring a whole level of excitement to the center.”

Unlike the former Ledgewood Mall, the new mall will have no interior corridors connecting stores. All access to stores and restaurants will be through individual doors facing the parking lot.

'Revolutionary' Online Order/Pickup

Greg DiBona, an engineer working on the project, stressed that the proposed OGP aspect of the Walmart is groundbreaking for the state.

“It will be the first one that I’m aware of in New Jersey that actually has the … full grocery and full drive-through with the canopy,” he said. “This is revolutionizing how the shopping experience works with Walmart.”

With OGP, people order groceries and some housewares online at least four hours beforehand, often the night before, DiBona said.

“You pay ahead of time,” he said. “You get assigned a certain time, a window when you show up. They basically do all the shopping for you. You pull up at the online grocery pickup canopy. They already have a pre-designated spot … and they bring the merchandise right out to you. You don’t have to get out of your car. They’re providing a shopping experience that makes it easy for everybody.”

The store will also have a drive-up window for pharmacy pickups, it was noted. It will have a garden center, some small eateries – likely Subway or Dunkin Donuts – maybe a bank and a nail parlor but no automotive center, the developers said.

The developers are slated to return to the planning board in February, possibly to get final approval of the plans, which were revised several months ago to include the new Walmart.

The new mall is not expected to open before 2020. Part of the project entails adding a left-turn lane onto Mary Louise Avenue from the westbound lanes of Route 10.

Roxbury Mayor Bob DeFillippo, who is also on the planning board, complimented the developers and thanked them for their cooperativeness with town officials overseeing the application process. "It's a beautiful building and we're excited about getting this ... in Roxbury," he said.

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