NJ kicks off Atlantic City’s 1st supermarket in 15 yrs | Lifestyles

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — It took nearly $19 million in public money and a government agency willing to step in where the private sector declined to tread, but Atlantic City will soon have its first supermarket in 15 years.

The state-run Casino Reinvestment Development Authority broke ground Thursday on a new ShopRite a few blocks from the casinos, on land the state already owns. The agency will retain ownership of the building and all its fixtures, and a private company, Village Super Market Inc., will operate it.

“For 15 years, Atlantic City’s food options have been limited to bodegas and small corner markets offering few healthy options,” Gov. Phil Murphy said. “Everything families will need will be right here. We’re finally going to water this food desert.”

The hefty state investment was crucial to making the project happen, said Matt Doherty, executive director of the reinvestment agency.

“Without a massive public subsidy, no grocery store would be willing to build in Atlantic City,” he said. “The numbers just don’t work. Atlantic City has massive pockets of poverty; some census tracts have 60% of people living in poverty. This had to be a publicly funded project to occur.”

“Not everyone was lining up to come here,” added state Senate President Steve Sweeney.

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