Center lands anchor tenant
Sierer confident a new market is coming to Fairfield Shopping Center
After nearly two years of speculation over the future of Fairfield Shopping Center, it appears good news is finally on the way for neighboring residents.
“We’ve landed a major anchor for the center,” developer Ernie Delle Donne, whose company owns the aging plaza, confirmed last week.
Citing a confidentiality agreement, Delle Donne declined to identify the tenant or the type of business it is. However, he said he expects to be able to make an announcement within
the next month.
He added that the anchor, which will replace the shuttered Superfresh market, will be part of a planned $4.5 million renovation of the shopping center on New London Road. He said he has been in communication with the Newark planning department and Mayor Polly Sierer, but a city spokeswoman said no official plans have been filed with the city.
Sierer said she believes a new supermarket is headed to the shopping center, as countless residents have expressed a desire for.
“I am confident there will be a grocery store going into that shopping center,” Sierer said. “I think that will occur and as soon as the parties have come to an agreement, I’m sure they will share the announcement with me and with our community.”
“I also know Delle Donne and Associates will be providing us with improvements to that center, so we can expect some facelift work done as well as [improvements to] the parking lot and the lighting in the parking lot,” she added.
Fairfield Shopping Center has been without an anchor since Superfresh closed in November 2015, after its parent company Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. — commonly known as A&P — filed for bankruptcy.
Acme had announced plans to take over the store along with the A&P-owned Pathmark in College Square Shopping Center. However, while the Pathmark was quickly converted to an Acme, the company never went through with the purchase of Superfresh.
Since then, the vacant Superfresh has been the subject of rumors and speculation as residents of Fairfield, Fairfield Crest and other surrounding neighborhoods bemoaned the loss of the grocery store.
Various city officials have lobbied Delle Donne, privately and publicly, to bring another market to the shopping center, citing the impact Superfresh’s closure has had on nearby residents, especially seniors and disabled residents.
“They need a community store that they can walk to,” Councilman Luke Chapman, who represents the area, said last year.
Besides the Superfresh space, Fairfield Shopping Center also has other vacancies, including a standalone building that last housed a PNC Bank.
Though progress has been slow, Delle Donne insisted last week the shopping center is a priority for him.
Delle Donne’s father, Eugene, built the shopping center in 1968, and the younger Delle Donne recalled helping his father at the construction site at age 11.
“This is a pet project of mine,” he said.
Developer Ernie Delle Donne said he has landed a tenant to replace the shuttered Superfresh in Fairfield Shopping Center.