Stop the madness! Trader Joe’s is coming to the new Essex Crossing project. No amount of ridiculous rumormongering will change that.
In recent weeks, there’s been all sorts of online speculation — suggestions that the wildly popular market might be backing out of the Essex Crossing project. The other night at the 7th Precinct Community Council meeting, Essex Crossing Community Relations Manager Katie Archer was called on to address the rumors. She assured traumatized locals that everything is on track for a TJ’s opening later this year.
The public relations office at Trader Joe’s has contributed to the confusion, telling a local blogger (SPBuzz) that the company is, “still interested in the Lower East Side as a potential store location,” without acknowledging that it’s a done deal. [An October 2016 press release from the company’s pr office carried the headline, “Trader Joe’s Signs Lease to Open a New Lower East Side Store Scheduled for 2018.”] The location, at 145 Clinton St., is not listed on Trader Joes’ “Store Openings” web page.
We reached out to TJ’s PR Director, Kenya Friend-Daniel, yesterday, who said, “Our plan is to open a store at that location this year.” She said no one should be concerned about the fact that the opening is not listed on the company’s website. Trader Joe’s, she said, likes to have store buildout details worked out before announcing a target opening date. James Yolles, a spokesperson for the developers (Delancey Street Associates), said the buildout is expected to begin in a matter of weeks.
Trader Joe’s is a notoriously secretive company. In other cities, it has been similarly cagey about opening details. The Commercial Appeal in Memphis spotted work permits for a new store in January but reported, “a Trader Joe’s spokeswoman still would not characterize the permit application as definitive confirmation that the chain is headed to Germantown.”
This past September, a work permit was filed with the Department of Buildings’ for plumbing work at Trader Joes’ Lower East Side’s store. The 30,000 square foot space will be on the lower level of 145 Clinton St., while a smaller Target store will be on the second floor. Target is not quite as shy about trumpeting its LES arrival.