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Business development thriving on North Ernston Road


SAYREVILLE — Residents likely have seen big changes happening at the Sayrebrook Towne Center at Washington and North Ernston roads, and more are coming.

The most visible update is to the ShopRite, which is undergoing a significant expansion. ShopRite spokeswoman Karen O’Shea said the store is adding on 26,000 square feet. The Saker family, who owns that location, received Planning Board approval for the project last year, she added. ShopRite has established a construction office in the strip mall as well.

Pat Gargiulo, Planning Board secretary, explained that ShopRite’s expansion will only go out to the west side, although an area that encompasses a few rows of parking and the land to the southwest is closed off. She said that additional area is needed temporarily to accommodate construction vehicles and work.

The northern North Ernston entrance to the store is also closed to the public as part of the work.

With the additional space, O’Shea said, ShopRite will be able to carry additional fresh food offerings. In addition, inside the store there will be a new Dunkin’ Donuts and a sushi bar.

“ShopRite is committed to providing the best shopping experience for our customers, and this expansion and renovation is in keeping with that commitment,” O’Shea said.

O’Shea said the rest of the store will be reorganized to accommodate the expansion, and some décor will be updated.

“We plan to include at the store’s entrance a large-scale mural of the American flag,” O’Shea said. “The Saker family and their Saker ShopRites Inc. include the large American flag painting in all their new stores and remodels.”

O’Shea said she could not yet give details as to whether additional jobs would be created as part of the project. However, she said the work should be done within a year.

ShopRite has taken on more shoppers, particularly from South Amboy, following the C-Town fire in April 2015. There is currently no full grocery store in South Amboy.

At the other end of the Sayrebrook Town Center, a Lightbridge Academy child care and early education center will occupy the former Childrenswear Centre children’s clothing store. Lightbridge received approval for the facility last year, and the project includes the addition of a fenced-in playground added to the south side of the building, Gargiulo said. Currently, there are 22 parking spaces there, which will be eliminated, although road access in and out of the shopping plaza will not be impacted.

Gargiulo said the former Pizza Hut building across North Ernston from the shopping plaza may become a Chase bank. Pizza Hut closed in late 2015. Gargiulo said the Planning Board intends to hear the Chase application on March 15.


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