A rendering of the planned ShopRite of Wyckoff — Courtesy: Inserra Supermarkets
By Joshua Burd
The operator of a long-planned ShopRite in Wyckoff has started demolition of an existing structure at the site, even as it awaits a decision from a state appeals court in a three-year-old legal battle over the project.
Inserra Supermarkets said Wednesday that it had started the site preparation at the corner of Greenwood and Wyckoff avenues. The family-owned grocery chain is targeting November 2017 for the opening of a modern, 62,042-square-foot store.
That work comes after delays tied to litigation with Stop & Shop, a competing operator in the area that has opposed the project. In August, a state Appellate Division judge sided with Mahwah-based Inserra, dismissing the final three counts in a 14-count complaint filed by its opponents, but an appeal from Stop & Shop is still before the court.
Arguments in the case were heard last month, Inserra said. A decision is expected shortly.
“We are thrilled to finally take these preliminary site preparation steps and be moving toward our goal of opening a modern supermarket in Wyckoff next year,” Lawrence Inserra, Jr., chairman and CEO of Inserra Supermarkets, said in a prepared statement.
Inserra had earned the unanimous approval of the Wyckoff planning board in February 2013, following 38 public meetings over a three-year period. The family-owned grocery chain owns and operates 22 ShopRite stores in New Jersey and New York and has a major presence in the state’s business community.
“It’s about time!” said Jim Jaworski, counsel for Inserra Supermarkets.
Building designs and heights of the planned ShopRite of Wyckoff reflect the historic character and architecture of surrounding commercial and residential buildings, Inserra said in a news release. The project also calls for the installation of almost an acre of new landscaping that will significantly enhance the site and exceed the township’s green space requirements.