By Geri CoreyGOSHEN — The perennial problem of the Goshen Plaza may be seeing the beginning of the end.
“The key is to locate a grocer,” Philip Adler told a standing-room-only crowd at the latest Chamber of Commerce breakfast. Adler purchased the Goshen Plaza in July, and since then securing a supermarket as an anchor has been his main focus.
The 14.8-acre plot is located between Clowes Avenue and Matthews Street. Adler gained possession of the property at a foreclosure sale. Among other retailers, the site is the location of CVS Pharmacy.
CVS is staying on as a tenant, constructing its own freestanding building with a pharmacy drive-thru, said Adler, who’s with North American Properties Group in Rye, N.Y.
“Not that I left no stone unturned," he said. "There may be some grocers I haven’t heard of — but I’ve spoken to many."
In 2004, the complex was approved for 102,000 square feet of retail space, with 40,000 allotted for a supermarket.
Adler said he's spoken with Safeway Inc., which is interested in a 40,000- to 60,000-square-foot market.
“They’re impressed with the area and would be able to open a store right away," he said. "However, nothing is settled at this time.”
He said "all your typical stores" that are found in any mall will be there, like a fitness center, bank, food service, cleaners.
Preliminary plans at this time call for reversing the mall to face Matthews Street, with the supermarket as the focal point. CVS and a second building with space for existing tenants to “swing into” are planned for the corner where Redendo’s Pizza is presently located.
Other buildings with retail space will be located at various spots on the site. The planning board will address issues, like sidewalks (planned for throughout the plaza), screenings, retention ponds, neighbors, noise. Parking will be centrally located.
“At this point, we’re not circumventing the planning board — we’re just not there yet,” Adler said.
The timeline for completion hinges on securing a supermarket. However, if no grocer is secure by early 2016, Adler plans to contact a broker to suggest other sources. His projection for completion of the mall is two to three years.