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The Grove at Howell: BJ's Coming In November, Cinema in 2015

The Grove at Howell concept image showing BJ's by Sitar Realty.
The Grove at Howell concept image showing BJ's by Sitar Realty.

Retail giant BJ’s Wholesale will be arriving in Howell with construction already underway on a long-vacant 52 acre tract of land on Route 9 and Lanes Mill Road.  The opening is scheduled for November 14, 2014.  

BJ’s Wholesale will be occupying 88,000 square feet at the center and services will include a gasoline station.  The future site of the membership-only chain store was purchased out of foreclosure by New York City-based Sun Equity Partners last summer.  

Sitar Realty Company is Sun Equity Partners’ leasing representative at the Howell location.  “We are excited to finally get this project off the ground. It’s been a long wait for the Howell citizens,”, said Abe Tress, representative of Sun Equity Partners.

The center, to be known as The Grove at Howell, will have approximately 350,000 square feet of retail with a mixture of clothing, food, and entertainment. The project is expected to have a 50,000 square foot national cinema with 14 screens and stadium seating, a 40,000 square foot national fitness club, along with many national clothing and food chains.  

“The Grove at Howell should be fully completed by June, 2015,” said Giorgio Vasilis, Vice President of Sitar Realty Company, based in Iselin, New Jersey. 

The theater, expected to be open by end of 2015, will be a large draw and destination for the town of Howell and surrounding towns. 

“We feel that the synergy of having a theater along the busiest corridor in Howell with over 1,000,000 square feet of retail and eateries, will make it a very pleasant experience for shoppers," said Vasilis.  

“The owners are planning a center that is not the typical shopping center, but it will be a complete shopping experience with food courts and beautiful landscaping designed by world-renowned Bignell Watkins and Hasser.”  

Sitar Realty Company-TCN Worldwide is the largest remaining privately owned commercial real estate firm in New Jersey. The firm has been in existence since 1978.  For more information, please visit the Sitar website at www.sitarcompany.com.


LADY J May 28, 2014 at 09:57 PM
Does anyone out there remember the fight local residents from the Windmill Club, Barre Drive and Thousand Oaks fought not to have a movie house in the outdoor malls between Lanes Mill Road and Locust Avenue?? We fought hard since we did not need any more traffic than what we were going to have to deal with due to the stores like Kohl's, Lowes, Target. TJ Maxx . etc. Many of the smaller stores have closed in those malls and others have come & gone. However, the one thing that did not come was a movie theater. We residents won our fight; everyone seemed to agree back then. A 12 screen movie theater open 12 hours a day would interfere with our safety, well-being and quality of life . So, now, we will get stuck with one coming in anyway, years later & very close in this new "Grove". WHY?? Is it our politicians? Is it more money in the pockets of the big corporation, forgetting the residents' well-being? Who approves these almost identical plans? Does no one check previous requests in the same area and the outcomes of those???? OK, so we get a BJ's (after years and years of maybe's). But why the theater so close to our homes?? Brick and Freehold put their theaters away from the backyards of residents and in areas that would not ruin residents quality of life!! Guess, if they wait long enough these big conglamorates do get what they want but the town's residents don't. When I moved here this town had this phrase on a big billboard that said, as you drove down Route 9 south "HOWELL IS BECOMING...". WELL, what the heck did that mean? Too much growth? I am all for growth and change; that's a part of life in a small town that grows. I am not, however, happy to inconvenience people and building in their backyards and ruining their quality of life. The loud noise at nite, lots more traffic on an already horrible intersection with idiotic jughandles, and perhaps, more crime is not what we need. Tell the big boys to put the theater in their home towns!! Just how much more money will we get in rateables that will offset the cost of having a theater where it is being put?? Anyone out there know? Anyone out there who can promise it will be worth it? I know the Windmill Club has suffered since the two outdoor malls opened..how do you think this theater will affect you if you live over on Lanes Mill Road and surrounding properties? It's too late to fight it but will our politicians regret approving it? Only time will tell.
LADY J June 02, 2014 at 08:05 PM
Ed: Does it make you feel good to make such a stupid comment? The Howell Patch is here for personal comments and ideas. Sorry your life is so full that you could obviously care less about discussing township issues with other residents without making such a comment about someone else's opinion--seems like you're a man of few words. Enough said!!
LADY J June 02, 2014 at 09:23 PM
Ed: In rethinking my above comment to you earlier this evening, calling your previous comment "stupid" , I feel I must apologize for using that word. You see, I was under the impression that making a comment meant the writer would be refering to the subject matter of the item being discussed and not a personal opinion about the writer. Your comment was honestly, truly inconsequential to the subject matter of "The Grove" and it's effect on Howell residents. From now on, I will not respond with my initial knee-jerk reaction to someone who obviously doesn't want to share his/her opinion and just wants to "Speak Out" which is, afer all, the title of this section in the Howell Patch.
Howell taxpayer2 July 20, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Just imagine if every single township in the state said "not in my backyard". Where would we shop? As a Howell resident for over 25 years (and a former resident of the Windmill Club) I welcome the businesses that come into our township. Jobs will be created for people in our town, and close enough for many to even walk or ride their bikes. That's great, especially for those who don't have a car and can't afford one or the high insurance costs associated with having one. I think its awesome that I will not have to travel to Freehold or Brick to do major shopping or to see a movie. What a savings that will be be on gasoline, especially at these high prices. As far as the impact on residents in the Windmill Club and other homes/developments off of Locust and Lanes Mill Road - what did you think was going to happen when you moved a quarter of a mile of a 4 lane major highway in NJ? This is commerical. If you wanted to live in a low traffic area, you should have considered living much further away from Highway 9. Using your common sense would have served you well in this cirmucstance. You can't buy a home so close to Route 9, which is zoned a commerical corridor, and expect that the landowners not be able to build what they want. That's completely unreasonable. Furthermore, having lived in the Windmill Club for several years, your fears are unfounded. 90% of the residences are on cul-de-sacs. Eagle Drive and one big circle. It's not much of a drive through to get to Locust. I think your just stirring up fear for your own benefit.
Howell taxpayer2 July 20, 2014 at 10:57 AM
As far as the Windmill Club suffering since the construction of the business already there, I call poppycock on that! The Windmill Club has suffered because of Section 8, low income housing that has been allowed in what was once a lovely neighborhood. You can't blame that on the businesses. Low income housing was approved long before those business was even contructed. I've watched as The Windmill Club went from a well kept develpment when we bought in the '80s, to a development of rental properties with clouded sliding glass doors and unkept yards in 2001 when we finally sold. It has steadily declined more so since then. Drugs run rampant within that community, as does the young teen degenerates, with exception of a few. But that's what you get when you lease out to low income, certainly not the fault of businesses buiding nearby.

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