Augie Reyes, director of deli and prepared foods for ShopRite, poses next to the log of provolone cheese hanging in the new supermarket in Niskayuna.
Photo by John Purcell.
NISKAYUNA It’s now a little harder to find a parking spot at the former St. James Square in Niskayuna.
Now ShopRite Square, the plaza has been revitalized, along with a 55,000-square foot building that sat vacant since 2004 at the heart of Niskayuna off Balltown Road. Two other grocery stores have previously left the site, with Farm Fresh closing after six months and Grand Union leaving in 2001, but the $12 million endeavor is a bet ShopRite is standing behind.
Store representatives for months have touted the market as a “neighborhood” store and sought input from residents. The company looked at the community to fill its 350 jobs at the new store too.
Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry said the lines were stretching out the door and police were directing traffic during the opening on Sunday, Oct. 2. The new location is the 30th ShopRite supermarket to open and the first in the Capital District. Several months of anticipation led to a bustling opening day.
“It might have been the best opening they have had for any of their stores,” Landry said.
Tom Urtz, vice president of Human Resources and Community Affairs for ShopRite, said the opening day turnout did exceed expectations.
“The response was much better than we anticipated … the people seemed very pleased and overall very patient. All things considered, it was a very busy day, but a very positive experience,” Urtz said. “There was a lot of energy in the building, a lot of enthusiasm, especially from the people that came very early to shop.”
He said since the store opened he has received a lot of positive comments from people and added that shoppers were pleased with store employees.
“They really, really like the people that are working here,” he said.
One of the features touted by the supermarket is the Health and Wellness Center, which includes an onsite registered dietitian, Sarada Bernstein.