Grocery shopping in Revere will never be the same as numerous sources have confirmed that a Demoulas Market Basket will locate and build a new store at the Northgate Mall within one year.
“Market Basket is one entity that has expressed interest in going there and it’s looking really positive for them going in,” said Revere Economic Director John Festa on Monday.
Last week, multiple Building Department officials confirmed that Market Basket submitted plans to build an 80,000 sq. ft. store on the site where the former Toys R’Us store once sat – a building that has been demolished due to a structural collapse. They will apparently build a new building on the site, and are prepared to take out a foundation permit from the City any day. One source indicated that the overall plans are currently being reviewed by the Building Department, and permits will be taken out following that preliminary review.
The store would be about one-third the size of the gargantuan store just a short ride away in Chelsea – a store which opened a little more than two years ago and draws many Revere shoppers.
There was no word concerning what amenities would be offered in the Revere store, or when it would be completed – though one official said it could be as soon as this spring.
There was also a good deal of uncertainty surrounding what might become of the brand new Price Rite store that recently opened and would potentially sit right next to the proposed Market Basket.
Market Basket has been aggressively expanding over the last year, opening large, new stores in Brockton and on Cape Cod – among other places.
A spokesperson from Market Basket did not immediately respond to Journal inquiries.
For the City though, a Market Basket is just one piece of a larger puzzle at Northgate – which officials believe is tremendously underachieving at the moment.
“We’re really looking for higher-end merchants there,” said Festa. “We feel it’s underutilized and the potential is much greater than what is there. We’d like to go into Northgate and see a Cheesecake Factory or something like the Market Basket – a higher quality. We believe in two to three years you’ll see a transformation…We want to change the whole dynamic of Revere.”
As a precursor at Northgate, Festa said the City has approached Northgate owners, Allan & Associates, about creating a zoning overlay district for the mall.
Festa said Northgate isn’t the only hot spot in Revere at the moment. Other places include:
•Wonderland Dog Track – Festa said that the Kraft Family, which owns the New England Patriots and the New England Revolution soccer team, has been in contact with the City about doing something at Wonderland.
“We have talked with the owners about coming back with a Master Plan for the property,” said Festa. “There is interest from the Kraft Family as well. I’ve had meetings and discussions with the Kraft Family. This could be a major source of revenue for Revere in the future, but it has to be done right and has to be unique.”
•Landmark Buildings – Festa indicated that Mayor Dan Rizzo has set a standard for any developer looking to do business in Revere, and he’s calling that standard Landmark Buildings. In short, he wants developments of any type to be unique and innovative – nothing cookie cutter – and he’s challenging designers to do their best work in Revere.
•Shaw’s on the Parkway – There is major interest in the old grocery store site, and the owners – the Cerratani Family – are nearly ready to move on a major development. Festa indicated that exciting, definitive news on that site could be coming in a matter of months. It has been rumored that a hotel chain is interested in locating there.
•The former Ocean Club on Revere Beach has been downsized and is now before city planners again. Tambone Investments has proposed a 143-unit building on the property in a five-story building. The developers were part of the Atlantica development on the Beach a few years back.
•Pier on the Beach – the Rizzo Administration continues to pursue the idea of locating a pier on Revere Beach with shops, services and a potential ferry service to the Harbor Islands and Boston. Festa said he has been told it will be difficult, but they are serious about overcoming any obstacles.
“We’re looking at locations now and have contacted the Seaport Advisory Committee about this idea,” he said. “I’ve been told there are a lot of hurdles to overcome, but I understand that and to my way of thinking, that means we should get started now. If it’s going to take a long time, then let’s get it going now.”