Store is part of $91MM Springfield Avenue Marketplace development
Newark, NJ, September 30 —Newark residents today celebrated the opening of a new ShopRite supermarket in the University Heights neighborhood. The store’s opening is the beginning of the transformation of a block vacant since the 1967 Newark Riots, despite decades of efforts to revitalize the community. The ShopRite received financing through the New Jersey Food Access Initiative (NJFAI), a financing program by The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) to help improve access to healthy foods in underserved communities across the state.
TRF provided equipment and fit-out financing for the supermarket with capital from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority and the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative. Uplift Solutions and Bridgeway Capital also participated in the financing to the supermarket. In addition, TRF also provided financing towards the larger mixed-use development.
“We are proud of our role in bringing this quality asset to the community,” shared Don Hinkle-Brown, TRF’s CEO. “TRF has invested more than $72 million in Newark over the last 11 years and this project represents an intersection of many of our efforts. In addition to healthy food access, it is bringing 300 new jobs and a revitalized commercial presence to this neighborhood.”
The ShopRite at Springfield Avenue Marketplace is projected to serve 25,000 local residents who have inadequate access to a full-service supermarket. Approximately half of these households do not have access to a vehicle, in an area where the poverty rates are between 25% and 40%. The ShopRite will increase access to healthy food locally and bring new jobs. To help address Newark’s high unemployment rates, the store is will hire Newark residents for many of the full- and part-time union jobs the store will create.
“RWJF is proud to support the NJ Food Access Initiative” explained Marco Navarro, senior program officer with the Foundation. “This innovative financing program has helped make access to affordable, healthful food easier for residents in many New Jersey communities. This is a great example of the kind of cross-sector collaborations and inventive thinking it will take to build a Culture of Health in New Jersey and across the nation.”
To date NJFAI has provided over $22 million in financing to 20 healthy food access projects across the state.
The new supermarket is owned and operated by Neil Greenstein, a third-generation grocer. Greenstein spent two years meeting with community members and partnered with Uplift Solutions to tailor the store to meet the needs of its customers. The store has space reserved for a federally qualified health center which will increase health resources in this medically underserved community.
The supermarket is the anchor tenant of Springfield Avenue Market Place, a 274,000 square foot mixed-use development that is bringing hundreds of construction and permanent jobs to the community as well as 152 new homes. The $91 million project from Tucker Development is receiving a construction loan for the development from TRF, and financing from Goldman Sachs, TriState Bank, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and New Jersey Community Capital.
About The Reinvestment Fund
TRF is a national leader in rebuilding America’s distressed towns and cities through the innovative use of capital and information. TRF has made $1.5 billion in community investments 1985. A Community Development Financial Institution, TRF finances a variety of projects and activities including food access, health care, education and housing, to build healthy communities in under-invested places. TRF also provides public policy expertise by helping clients create actionable solutions and by sharing data and analysis via www.PolicyMap.com. To learn more about TRF, visit www.trfund.com. Follow TRF on Twitter @trfund or Facebook at facebook.com/TRFund.