NORTH BRUNSWICK — The sizable hole that was left on the Route 1 corridor that came with the closing of the Barnes & Noble last year is changing to excitement as it was announced that the popular grocery chain Trader Joe's will be coming to fill its place.

"I am pleased to formally announce what may have been the worst kept secret in town, that we are excited to welcome a Trader Joe's grocery store to the North Brunswick community," said Michael Hritz, Director of Community Development in a statement.

Mayor Francis Womack released a statement on Tuesday about the arrival of the chain at the end of the year. He said the store will fill more than 14,000 square feet of what had been the bookstore, with additional plans being worked out for the remaining space.

"We are pleased to welcome a Trader Joe's grocery store to the North Brunswick community," he said. "The site is currently under construction to sub-divide the book store space for the grocery store and two or three additional tenants."

He said once the subdivision is completed Trader Joe's is expected to start its work to fit the building for its uses. A formal announcement from the company is not expected until the renovations are done and the company prepares to move into its new building.

"This is a perfect match for the work we've been doing to improve the character and quality of the entire Route 1 corridor," the mayor added. "I understand the competition for a Trader Joe's to be very tough, so I am very happy and pleased with the success of our professional staff and the cooperation with their business colleagues who worked to get this deal done."

According to, the Barnes & Noble opened in 1999 before closing at the end of last year due to issues negotiating a lease. The chain currently has 12 stores across New Jersey with North Brunswick being the first in Middlesex County.

"This rewarding outcome affirms our relationship and engagement with our development partners who all shared an interest in bringing a Trader Joes to the township," Hritz added. "We've been working with them to entice them here for many years."

The news comes less than a week after the newest Trader Joe's opened in Hoboken.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or

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