Wow, has Hillsborough changed a lot since I lived there just 6 years ago!

I resided there before the high school got even more overcrowded than it already was. I lived there before 206 turned into a confusing by-pass highway that still messes me up the few times I’ve been back. It used to be a straight road from the Somerset Circle right through all the businesses of Hillsborough like Old Man Rafferty’s and Walgreens and Bottle King and the rest. Now it’s part what passes in this Somerset County town for a Main Street and part a major highway loop around.

Well, get ready for another change.

The Nelson’s Corner Shopping Mall at 206 and Amwell Road may be the closest thing to a "downtown" Hillsborough has going for it and it’s about to change big time. For decades the anchor store there has been ShopRite.

Google Maps
Google Maps

It looks like they’re moving out and you have to wonder what their retail neighbors feel about this. After all it has operated there at Nelson’s Corner since 1985. That’s the year “Better Off Dead” and “The Breakfast Club” came out. The New York Mets' one and only World Series win was 16 years earlier and their second (and last) one was still a year away.

In other words, that’s a long time.

They’re not closing down. Word is they’re just moving about a mile south to the Homestead Road intersection. The new location will be 25% bigger with an extra 20,000 square feet. The whole plaza being planned will have 40,000 square feet of retail and service-use end cap and in-line space in addition to the new 80,000 square foot ShopRite.

Business Signage
Getty Images

Developer Village Supermarket plans on starting construction in the first quarter of 2024.

Who else will be ShopRite’s new neighbors? RIPCO Real Estate’s Jake Frantzman says,

We’ve already had terrific interest from national restaurants, franchise spa and salon operators and from several traditional national brick-and-mortar retailers.

Business partner Patrick Brake adds,

The new ShopRite Center has terrific reach. With approximately 30,000 cars a day, U.S. 206 is a vital conduit between Princeton and Bridgewater and beyond. And, Hillsborough is situated right in the middle.

Indeed it is. Even that crazy by-pass.

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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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