A supermarket that will anchor a $35 million redevelopment in downtown Paterson was officially opened today, making way for a project that will feature other businesses and park space.
Grocery store operator Super Supermarket, owned by Antonio and Jeffrey Perez, is developing the project along the Passaic River and has built the store to withstand the type of flooding brought by Hurricane Irene in 2011. The 30,000-square-foot store building sits on piers and has an underground tank capable of holding 200,000 gallons of water.
"By Irene, it was completely flooded — completely washed out," said Jeffrey Perez, 28, noting the storm caused the company to include the protective measures. "If it ever happens again, the water can just go underneath the store and wash back into the river."
The project site sits within an area that was so badly damaged that it drew a visit from President Barack Obama in September 2011.
The Paterson-based company opened the store today after breaking ground in February 2011, with delays due largely to Irene, Perez said. The first phase on Main Street and Memorial Drive also includes an Advance Auto Parts franchise and a clock tower.
The project was designed by Hasbrouck Heights-based DMR Architects. Perez said the company is in negotiating with national retailers about the second and third phases of the 10-acre site.
Super Supermarket operates another store in Paterson, along with locations in Haledon, Orange, Asbury Park.