The Route 18 Shopping Center is going to be home to East Brunswick’s newest business—Karl’s Appliance.
Owner Dan Schwartz said the company is renovating two store fronts, the former Gap and a bagel shop, into one larger facility and that it could be open for business sometime in late December or early January, with a Grand Opening set for the spring.
A January opening would include strictly merchandise, and once the showroom is completed, much of that merchandise will be on display in a series of cabinets designed to give customers an idea of what it would look like in their homes.
According to Larry Pinilis, a real estate agent working for the mall, a 14,000-square-foot restaurant also is slated to move into the center.
“We’re taking the former Gap store and the other was a bagel shop next to it and making it all one large area,” said Schwartz. “We sell major appliances and grills, so what will happen is a new floor is going in and around the perimeter area will be kitchen vignettes that have different cabinet styles.”
Karl’s has six other locations in New Jersey, and the company has been looking for a seventh since it’s Perth Amboy location closed two years ago. Schwartz said Route 18 is going to be a great location, and that the township has been very supportive during preparations for the new store.
“We’ve been looking for a space in the Middlesex County area, trying to find a good spot to suit our needs and to help the market,” he said. “We found this location. It faces Route 18 and despite the bad economy, we’re making an investment coming to town.”
Schwartz commended Mayor David Stahl, Economic Development Coordinator Ed Cohen and the municipal government for expediting the process, particularly with obtaining Certificate of Occupancy certificates in a timely manner. He said his experience moving to East Brunswick is vastly different than his experiences with other towns.
“Very key has been the work of Mayor Stahl, and Ed Cohen,” said Schwartz. “Ed’s been very helpful, and we’ve also had the support of the East Brunswick municipal government. It has been fantastic, particularly compared to experiences we have had in other locations we’ve opened, where it seemed like the municipal government didn’t want businesses to come to town. It was a refreshing experience.”