Pine Brook Man Wants Wegmans on Rt. 46

Master Plan would encourage big retail at former G.I. Auto Salvage site.

Brent Jerolimic already knows the first things he would buy if a Wegmans grocery store opened in : grass-fed beef and "one of their amazing signature fresh baked desserts."

Jerolimic, 33, has started a petition in hopes that he can attract the chain store, which has stores throughout the northeast according to its website, to the G.I. Auto Salvage Co. site at Route 46 and Old Bloomfield Avenue where Lowe's was considering placing a store in 2011. Lowe's , which included a 137,000-square-foot store and garden center, in August, the same week as the company announced the closing of seven stores.

Jerolimic said reading about Lowe's' decision not to build a store at the site prompted him to consider what would best serve Pine Brook residents in that location. And on Friday, he decided to take action by starting an online petition, reaching out to Mayor Tim Braden and sending a letter to Wegmans management.

Jerolimic said he is very familiar with the , as his parents live near the store.

"I've been going there from time to time over the years," he said. "I'm a big foodie: I like to cook, I like to eat. My first time going to Wegmans was like a religious experience for a foodie like me."

What Jerolimic said he likes most about Wegmans is the quality of the food, as well as the wine classes. He and his wife, Christina, 34, and Luka, 2, eat organically and have been traveling to two different food stores-Shop Rite in Parsippany and Stop & Shop in West Caldwell-in order to get everything they need. The Jerolimics, who have lived in Pine Brook since 2006, also grow their own vegetables in the summer. But Jerolimic said if there were a Wegmans in Montville, he would be buying all of his groceries in one store.

"To have a Wegmans, they're huge. They have everything you want. You can talk to the butcher and they will tell you which farm (the meat) comes from," he said.

Jerolimic reached out to Wegmans about his interest in having a store in Montville.

"We received your e-mail asking that we build a Wegmans store near your community. Thank you! We take that as a compliment and will share your request with our real estate department," a community affairs representative responded.

Montville Township Planning Board Vice-Chairman Gary Lewis said a Wegmans would be under the scope of what the board envisioned for the site and would be allowed under the Master Plan, developed in 2010.

"The master plan for that location encourages a big retail use like that," he said.

However, since Lowe's had received a zoning variance to place its store at that location, in order to be approved, Wegmans would have to either conform to the conditions of the variance approval or petition the township committee to have the ordinance, which states permissible uses for that site, changed to match the Master Plan.

Speaking not on behalf of the planning board, but as a resident of Montville, Lewis said he too would like to see a Wegmans in town.

"I think that a Wegmans would be terrific for the town of Montville and, in my view, it would be a terrific addition to that site," he said.

Maxim Sapozhnikov April 16, 2012 at 11:25 AM
A brilliant idea, and I hope Wegmas goes along with it.
Les Le Gear April 16, 2012 at 01:13 PM
I'm also a big Wegman's fan. I sent them an email about a year ago asking them to check out the site on Rte 46 for a possible store location. I also got a thank you response from their customer service people. I especially like their Kosher section. They have the best smoked fish in New Jersey and it's superbly cut. Better than any of the so-called deli's in this area.
Brent Jerolimic April 16, 2012 at 02:33 PM
up to 46 signatures on the petition from 6 before the Patch.com article was posted! Let's make this happen people, show Wegmans there is real grassroots support in the community for their great store and our great town to come together in a win win situation!
Brent Jerolimic April 16, 2012 at 02:34 PM
whoops make that 50!
barbara demarest April 16, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Yes Yes Yes!
Christina Hurley April 16, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Where do I go to sign? I would love a Wegman's there!
Brent Jerolimic April 16, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Here is a link to the petition (it's also hyperlinked in the article above): http://www.change.org/petitions/wegmans-please-open-up-a-new-store-in-pine-brook-nj
Janice Mennella April 16, 2012 at 05:40 PM
I submitted a request to Wegmens years ago to scope out the Morris County area. They had tried something on Route 10 that was knocked down because of too much traffic congestion. Where can I sign this petition.
Liz Kril April 16, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Where is the link to the petition?
Liz Kril April 16, 2012 at 05:56 PM
The link is located 3rd paragraph: "an online petition". or http://www.change.org/petitions/wegmans-please-open-up-a-new-store-in-pine-brook-nj
wally April 16, 2012 at 06:27 PM
isn't this use going to cause the same problem for local roads as Lowes would have?
Ariana Cohn-Sheehan (Editor) April 16, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Liz, the link is in the article.
Douglas Vliet April 16, 2012 at 07:57 PM
YES I love wegmans , they are the BEST. Quality. Price, selection. That's a great idea. Where is the petition?
Brent Jerolimic April 16, 2012 at 08:34 PM
if you've been to Wegmans you'd know it's worth it. Besides, *something* will go in there eventually so let's make it the best possible fit!
Brent Jerolimic April 16, 2012 at 08:34 PM
here you go: http://www.change.org/petitions/wegmans-please-open-up-a-new-store-in-pine-brook-nj
Carol Bear April 17, 2012 at 03:05 AM
I too agree...great idea
Joe G April 17, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Better than Shoprite!
Kathy Camp April 17, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Bring on the Wegman's! Bring on a real Stew Leonard's! OMG! They are fabulous!
Liana April 18, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Better a supermarket than another bank or office building!
Truscha Quatrone April 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM
I must have missed something regarding the old junk yard. Did Montville township buy that land? If not this conversation is mute because the land is owned by a private individual, petitions will not do much good.
Douglas Vliet April 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM
The property is still on the market and available. Truscha why are you such a naysayer? If we can get Wegmans to look at it, we could have a terrific asset in the town.
Bob Marchese April 19, 2012 at 03:04 PM
I Like it!! Upscale clientele. Where do I sign??
bette verp April 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM
it would be great to have wegman's on rt. 46 Bette Verp
Ellen Oxild April 19, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I was in Wegmans in Somerville today and happened to meet Mr. Wegman and his team while they were visiting the store. I took the opportunity to speak with him about Montville and surrounding areas, the petition that is circulating, and the advantages of opening a store in this area. He seemed receptive and said he plans to look into it! It's funny how things happen...
Frances Miller May 07, 2012 at 11:24 PM
I was at the Wegmans in Bridgewater today and the cashier said that she had heard the Wegmans is coming to Montville. Boy that would make my life much easier. Going to Bridgewater is quite a trek from Rockaway.


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