TEANECK – In a bid to dispel persistent rumors, Stop & Shop and the township have released a joint statement saying there are no plans to shut Teaneck's only supermarket.
The memo posted on the township website states that Teaneck “never asked or pressured” the store to close and that Stop & Shop is not looking to close or move.
The Township Council and Planning Board last year designated a 6.6-acre area on both sides of American Legion Drive a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment last year. The zone includes Stop & Shop, parking lots and a Buddhist center.
That designation means a property owner cannot be forced to sell to make way for redevelopment.
Neither side is willing to comment on the active litigation between the store and the town, but the memo states they “understand that there is public confusion over why Stop & Shop brought a lawsuit in response to the Township’s efforts to redevelop the American Legion Drive area.”
“What we can say is that Stop & Shop has no present plans to close the store,” the statement reads. “Both Stop & Shop and the Township share a goal of having Stop & Shop thrive and continue to serve the community of Teaneck, particularly as together we continue to navigate through these challenging times.”
SUIT AGAINST TEANECK: Teaneck says Stop & Shop isn't going anywhere, despite redevelopment designation
In the suit filed earlier this year, the Stop & Shop company alleges that it is operating in accordance with the codes and zoning of the township. The complaint also says the company purchased property to create a parking lot for customers and that the area and the supermarket building do not conflict with the township’s master plan and are not "in any way detrimental to the safety, health, morals, or welfare of the community.”
Councilman Keith Kaplan said “it hurts the supermarket when people out of fear aren’t going to shop there anymore.”
“There are so many rumors, that are very false, that the store is going to close and people react and say to themselves that maybe it's time shop somewhere else,” Kaplan said. “It’s very difficult for a business to regain customers they’ve lost.”
PARAMUS STOP & SHOP CLOSES: Stop & Shop says it has shut down its Route 17 supermarket
Kaplan noted that the township doesn’t own the store or the property. He said Stop & Shop has three options under the redevelopment plan: rebuild elsewhere on the property, renovate the store — or do nothing at all.
Stefanie Shuman, a Stop & Shop spokesperson, said that the store “remains open and committed to serving the Teaneck community.”
Katie Sobko is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Teaneck Stop & Shop supermarket has no plans to close