New supermarket, homes coming soon


A new food shop and new homes are on the horizon in Harrison.

At its last meeting, the Harrison Planning Board gave the go-ahead to Seabra Foods IX Inc., headed by Antonio Seabra, to convert a vacant, one-story 11,905 square-foot commercial space at 421-429 Bergen St. into a supermarket.

The project site was formerly occupied by an auto parts facility and includes a parking lot shared with a Wendy’s fast food restaurant. Of the 83 spaces, 59 will be allotted to the supermarket.

Seabra Foods, whose website lists it as “the leading ethnic food retailer in the United States,” with products appealing to Latin American palates “from Portugal, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Spain and more,” also operates a store on Schuyler Ave. in neighboring Kearny.

For its Harrison venture, Seabra figures to spend $1.9 million on building and site improvements, according to its application filed with the Planning Board by Newark attorney Carlos Monteiro.

Testimony by Seabra witnesses at the Planning Board hearing indicated that patrons will enter the new store at the lower east side of the property where there will be a customer service kiosk. At that location, shoppers who have called in orders from home can pick up their food.

In-store customers will select from among a variety of frozen foods and prepared foods, including a deli area with Chot foods available for on-site consumption. A bakery department will also be available.

Seabra Group CEO Antonio Loureiro told the board that the company will be concentrating on specialty ethnic items and “we’re allocating a big area here for the prepared foods but we’ll actually have an open kitchen [to cook the food].”

Loureiro said store hours will be from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with coverage by two shifts of employees, 25 during the day and 15 at night, with additional workers on weekends.

Deliveries from the company’s Newark distribution center, by single-axle box trucks with lift gates, will be made twice a day, with meat, fish and dairy products arriving, typically, at 7 a.m., and groceries coming in between 8 and 9 p.m., Loureiro said.

Shopping carts will be equipped with an electronic blocking mechanism to prevent patrons or outsiders from removing them from beyond the store perimeter, he said.

Seabra’s engineer Tom Quinn of EKA Associates, Scotch Plains, said the firm is proposing a new lighting design for the parking area along with some repaving and striping.

Seabra was also seeking approvals from the Hudson County Planning Board since the project site abuts Frank E. Rodgers Blvd., a county roadway.

Meanwhile, the Planning Board has also signed off on an application by Selgrove Group LLC of Kearny to tear down the old Lombardi Funeral Home at 334-338 Cleveland Ave., subdivide the property into three lots and build three 2-family houses.

– Ron Leir

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