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Walmart Approved for Golden Triangle Site

The retail giant will include a grocery store and pharmacy.

The Planning Board approved plans to build a 151,507-square-foot Walmart on the Golden Triangle site, Wednesday.

The structure, located at the corner of Tices Lane and Route 18 and bordered to the east by the Old Bridge Turnpike, is expected to be smaller than the existing building, which is approximately 236,000 square feet, and will include a grocery store and pharmacy.

Thomas Kelso, an attorney representing Toll Brothers, told the Planning Board that a tentative agreement had been made with Walmart to use the space, contingent on the application's approval. Kelso did not say when construction will begin, but he expected it to start before the end of the year, or "ASAP," as he told the board.

Architect for the developer, Daniel Condatore, said 60 percent of the building will be used for general merchandise and 40 percent will be used for the grocery section.

The decision included approval of three use variances dealing with the number of parking spaces, trees and cargo bays on the building. Toll Brothers, requested that it build 722 parking spaces rather than 748, four loading bays rather than seven, and plant 112 trees throughout the parking lot rather than 142.

In exchange for the decrease in trees, the developer agreed to consider making a donation to the township’s Shade Tree fund. It also will include 1.4 acres of green landscaping throughout the site.

Part of the parking plan includes 152 employee parking space, 97 of which will be located along Route 18, and the remaining along Tices Lane

According to the application, the shopping center is expect to create between 250 and 275 permanent jobs, and its hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. Entrances to the facility include one from Route 18, one from the Old Bridge Turnpike, and two from Tices Lane.

Carl Pehnke, traffic engineer for the applicant, said he expects 40 percent of traffic entering the site to come from Route 18, 29 to 30 percent from Tices Lane, and 30 percent from Old Bridge Turnpike.

Improvements to the Tices Lane intersections include a widening of the intersection closest to Route 18, a left turn only lane, and a stacking lane on Tices Lane for cars waiting to make a left into the complex. The entrance also will be the main entrance for truck deliveries.

Pehnke said the store will get about six tractor trailer delivers a day, and 15 to 16 deliveries from smaller panel trucks each day.

The Tices Lane entrance was of particular concern for some Planning Board members. Laurence Bravman said he was concerned about cars making left turns from the shopping center onto Tices Lane. He also questioned the idea that trucks would use Route 18 exclusively to access the site, saying that trucks coming from Route 18 will would take Edgeboro Road to Old Bridge Turnpike, rather than travel south of the store, taking a jughandle and coming back.

In addtion, Pehnke said the amount of traffic would be higher during the week than when it was home to a Sam's Club, furniture outlet, and flea market. However, traffic would be significantly lighter than it had been on Saturdays, when people flocked to the market.

"It will be high during weedays in the pm, and less than was gnerated on a Saturday," he said. "It also would be substantially less than what would be gnerated if the building remained the same size."

, Toll Brothers is allowed to build up to 220,000 square feet of commercial retail space—with no one store being larger than 180,000 square feet—and 200 to 400 housing units. Under the agreement, no more than 10 percent of those units can be three bedroom apartments. Mayor David Stahl has said he expects Toll Brothers to build close to the maximum number of units allowed.

Toll Brothers has yet to present plans for the residential component.

John Romano April 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM
....????. What!!?? Okay....with that logic....why not make EB's business development slogan, "No higher end stores? No problem...we like the bottom of the barrel"!! Your comments related to "additional" traffic...are laughable at best. You are right...there will be additional traffic....straight to Wally-world. With nearly 160,000 sf. of schlock merchandise under one roof...every bottom feeder will flock there....shop....and LEAVE. There's zero incentive for someone to venture to another store. Of course...they might get hungry after their venture to the bargain-basement....so maybe the local McDonalds might do some increased business? They get busy...and must hire 5 more people for those high paying jobs!!. Is that the additional revenue that you alluded to? Oh...wait...McD's might be somewhat "high-end" for the typical Walmart shopper...so maybe I'm wrong.
Julie2 April 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Case studies show the exact opposite of your speculation to be true. The revenue will merely replace the revenue of all the businesses and their suppliers that are put out of business. The traffic comment is appalling. The job of the planning board is to reduce traffic, not add to it.
John Romano April 20, 2012 at 06:27 PM
...."arrogance"?....is that what protecting our quality of life and property value is being called these days? You must be one of those rogue Linguistics-Revisionists that are making the rounds these days.
PT April 20, 2012 at 09:10 PM
Walmart is pretty much universally acknowledged as being at the bottom of the barrel in terms of their labor practices. And since they are big enough that they could set an example for everyone else. There are many, many large corporations whose behavior, if not ideal, does not actively seek to exert downward pressure on all standards (wages, legal, benefits, etc.).
PT April 20, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I guess laughter is the best way to get through bad news. Thanks for the chuckle.
PT April 20, 2012 at 09:18 PM
That's exactly the point. We already have to travel to Princeton to get food at the cost of gas and time since there are no decent food stores in EB. If EB is in a race to the bottom, it's probably better just to move to Princeton.
Rob April 20, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Arrogance? That's an inaccurate comment. I've been in a Walmart. I avoid the place not because of any moral feelings towards small business suffering, wages, or working conditions, but because I've seen the creatures the Walmart stores attract by visiting them in North Brunswick, Piscataway, and Edison. Now those same people are going to be clogging up an already congested traffic area. Besides, with all of those Walmarts within 10 to 20 minutes, and a Target on Ryders, why do we need a Walmart? To heck with a Walmart being in every town.
Chris April 21, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Maybe it was just me but I had this crazy thought that now having the gorgeous transportation center all finished and the new condos being built in the rear of the golden triangle, East Brunswick may have been home to lots of new young professionals. Especially that the units were mostly going to be 1 and 2 bedrooms. As soon as I heard Wal-Mart, now all I see are slums and low rent housing. I honestly hope I'm wrong.
Liti Haramaty April 21, 2012 at 10:33 PM
i envy those of you who can afford to travel to Princeton for grocery shopping. I work and take car of my family, and i do not have the time to spare to drive 30 minutes each way for grocery shopping. i will not shop at walmart, for many reasons, i love to hate them just like the rest of... but if you saw the some of the comments on facebook - many many people in this town are more than happy to have a walmart close to home. I also don't remember anyone commenting when Target added a large food section... nobody said on the Patch that this will affect other businesses in town. How is Target better than walmat? I do not shop for food at Targe, the quality is not what i am looking for. But many people do. I would like to know what other businesses, if any, were interested in the golden triangle and why the town approved walmart. I guess i should have thought about it a while ago when the it was discussed at planning board town council meetings, both open to the public.
John Romano April 22, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Liti...the fact that "many many people in this town are more than happy to have a walmart close to home"...doesn't make it an acceptable fit for what this town deserves and should strive to have occupy that site. All that perceived "acceptance" shows, is that there are a greater number of ignorant people than I imagined.
John Romano April 22, 2012 at 01:24 AM
....also Target's "large food section" ..all told, amounts to about 6000 Sf....or about 4% of that store's gross floor area. The proposed Walmart will have a grocery section that's 40% of the gross floor area...or about 60,000 Sf. By comparison...the Acme on Ryders Lane...is only 52,000 Sf. Additionally...the Target is in Milltown...so EB residents had no say in what was proposed...or what modifications were carried out. But let's stop talking food stores for a moment...let's talk about..hmmm?..the Best Buy that's right next to the walmart site. Best Buy has announced that they will close 50 stores this year, with another group to close next year. Although the EB Best Buy is not on a closing list now...what might be the affect of having a bargain-store adjacent to them selling comparable merchandise for 20% to 40% less (supposedly the same items...but the quality is lower because it's made specifically for walmart pricing strategy). I sincerely doubt that any other retailer was actively courted to occupy that site. ......the tough questions should have been asked by the planning board members and the mayor's office..that was their job..and they failed.
Eb4life April 22, 2012 at 09:44 PM
gggg
Eb4life April 22, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Google the latest on how Walmart was bribing officals in Mexico to get permits to build stores in Mexico - now 1 in 5 stores are in Mexico> They pushed out the competition. Managment in Arkansas knew this and turned a deaf ear. This is not an employer we want in East brunswick.
Craig April 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Pretty bummed out about Walmart moving in there. What would of been nice is an area where residents can create start up small businesses. It'd be nice to go there for the evening and just walk around, kind of like Main street in Metuchen. Not going to happen now :(
Bruce Barrett April 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM
The nightmare just goes on for this piece of property and now for the people of town who were hoping for better there someday. Sometimes you gotta wonder if the people on the planning board live in town or what...the rumor of wal mart moving in has been floating for years. Yet the people who could have steered them away apearently never tried... just another reason not to go near the intersection of rt18/tices....the revenue generating (not safety) red light cameras were the first....finally...we can only hope the 70percent or so customers coming from South River use the back entrance....
Allison April 24, 2012 at 12:51 PM
It is frustrating that no one attended the council meeting, last night to speak out about this. The citizens in this town really seem to be apathetic, at this point. There is really no one willing to let the leadership in town know how unhappy with the direction we are going. Speaking of the leadership in this town, I will speak my mind in November. There is no way I can support the direction this town is going. Why would any young family want to move here and what does that say about property values?
Bruce Barrett April 24, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I was one of 4 in attendance at the council meeting last night ( other then the awards people) who leave right after.... but didnt read the article til this morning..... My children are out of the school system thank god so theres not alot keeping me here now....except for our friends we've made over the last 28 years...if it wasnt for the real estate values right now....they would be visiting me somewhere else.......just sad
Michele W. April 26, 2012 at 04:34 PM
It's not a good location for a Wegman's because of the Shop Rite. Maybe some other types of higher end stores, especially if the condos may bring professionals to the area. Right now, the surrounding area is mostly low to middle income. The passers-thru may be higher income, but so many stores on 18 have already gone under. Look at the shopping centers near Loehmann's, Gap, and down near the big tennis place. So many empty store fronts. There's plenty of room for a Wegman's or Trader Joe's, but they don't seem to rushing to EB.
Lea Andres April 30, 2012 at 02:39 AM
That is exactly what I thought, what type of people will want to own or even rent a home in a Walmart parking lot????
Laura May 13, 2012 at 03:15 AM
No health benefits, no sick time, no unions, $8.00 per hour, and more workers being forced to use state subsidized benefits from tax payers. Good for employment? Good for taxes? Maybe not. What does East Brunswick stand for? http://makingchangeatwalmart.org/walmart-and-workers/ Walmart masks the truth about the wages paid to their employees. The average Walmart employee makes about $8.81 per hour according to a study by Bloomberg News. Full time employees, defined by Walmart as 34 hours a week, make on average $15,500 per year. Hundreds of thousands of people who have FULL TIME jobs at Walmart continue to live below the poverty line. As a result, many Walmart workers must utilize state subsidized benefits, and studies have found that people working for Walmart are more reliant on government benefits – costing taxpayers more than $1 billion nationwide. Walmart has a history of denying employees the right to organize and collectively bargain. The company engages in anti-union tactics by requiring workers to attend union busting training, particularly supervisors. Between July 2005 and June 2011, Walmart settled an estimated 70 state and federal class action wage and hour lawsuits and lost one jury trial of a wage and hour case, involving a total of well over a million current and former employees and costing the company over $1 billion. The lawsuits covered wage and hour violations including unpaid wages and lack of legally required breaks.
korbermeister May 17, 2012 at 02:39 AM
you guys voted down an expansion of brunswick square mall years ago which could've attracted upscale stores like the ones in freehold raceway mall and you expect to attact a wegmans or trader joes????!!!!!! You've gotten what you've sowed, enjoy!
korbermeister May 17, 2012 at 02:58 AM
princeton also has a cohesive identity, a world class university, a 'real', walkable downtown and a train station, things that e.b. lacks. And compared to rt. 1 in w. windsor and rt. 9 in freehold, rt. 18 in e.b. is aesthetically lacking, hard-on-the-eyes and uninviting
korbermeister May 17, 2012 at 03:01 AM
lol. young professionals don't want to live in a glorified strip mall
Michele W. June 06, 2012 at 04:49 PM
Interesting and troubling from a labor and societal point of view. Perhaps having a store like this in our town is not good for public policy, growing a strong labor force, and supporting unions. You are correct. From a strictly consumer minded selfish point of view, however, it will add convenience to Route 18. East Brunswick, generally, is a poorly planned township. Shopping here is a nightmare, because the stores are all over the place and not centralized. Building up Brunswick Square Mall would be a great idea. It's one of the worst malls I've seen. Some find it "quaint" and towny, but again, not centralized shopping and the variety of dining is extremely poor. Walmart in the Golden Triangle location is just another example of a town with no plan. Stick Walmart on the same spot where its partner Sam's Club used to be with the hopes of bringing back the clientele that used to shop at Sam's. I used to shop at Sam's, because it was convenient, but since it moved to Edison, I don't bother. Walmart's location will make shopping easier for the consumer, so that if you are shopping in one shopping center, as Mid-State, you don't have to drag down the highway to K-Mart or to Ryders Lane to Target, or to No. Brunswick to Walmart. It's convenient to simply go to Walmart. Fighting corporate America is the answer to making Walmart as accountable as other companies, but that takes lobbying, not blogging!
Michele W. June 06, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Also, there are many nice Walmarts, such as the one in Freehold, which is very close to the Freehold Mall. Nice area, nice stores, decent clientele. North Brunswick's Walmart is disgusting, I agree!
Mike Wilson June 18, 2012 at 03:49 AM
I was born and raised in EB. Moved out after grad school in 2003. Seeing Walmart come in is just another nail in EB's coffin. My parents still live in EB and I visit often. It's just not the same place where I grew up. It breaks my heart to see what EB had become.
Theresa Lam August 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Check out the East Brunswick Transition Community and join us! https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!forum/EBTransition
Wildie May 10, 2013 at 03:34 PM
Wow! As if the traffic at Tices and Rt. 18 isn't bad enough. For shame.
John Romano May 10, 2013 at 04:18 PM
...Wildie ....I agree that traffic at that intersection will increase ten-fold ....but that's the small picture. When a known bottleneck for traffic exists ...people go out of their way to avoid it .....and in doing so, they exponentially increase the traffic elsewhere. That "elsewhere" will be Milltown Road. It's the last northbound exit on Rte 18 that's not traffic-signal regulated. Northbound Rte 18 traffic that's headed for Rte 1 or even the NJ Tpke ...can peel off Rte 18 at Milltown Rd., and bypass the bottleneck by heading to Ryders Lane and then to either Rte 1 or to Corona Road to take the back-door entrance to the Tpke via Naricon Place. Problem is ...Milltown / Ryders intersection backs up horribly NOW ...so, people cut through the residential streets of the Country Lane Woods neighborhood ...at speeds sometimes exceeding 50 mph. During the morning rush hours of 6 am to 9 am ...the traffic count skyrockets from about 1 car per 5 minutes ....to 5 or 10 cars per minute. So ...even though the walmart is 2 miles away ...my quality of life will be impacted by even more cars looking to avoid Rte 18 & Tices Lane. ....the "town leaders" in keeping with their short-sighted track record, again failed miserably. And the 'town' won't do anything like installing speed-bumps or stop signs in my neighborhood (which work like a charm) ...because no one has been killed by a car ...yet.
PT May 11, 2013 at 01:31 AM
I thought the speed limit on all streets in East Brunswick was 55 mph, judging by the driving.

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