Woodbury bets on Bottom Dollar

Woodbury, NJ has given a green light to a discount supermarket  project that has some celebrating and others questioning whether downtown is heading in the right direction.

Bottom Dollar Food, a well-regarded retailer rapidly expanding its presence in South Jersey and Philadelphia, will build a suburban-style store (translation: set back from the sidewalk amid beaucoup parking) on the vacant site of a former car dealership.

The city's planning/zoning board ended a marathon meeting Tuesday with a unanimous vote in favor of the project.

Mayor Ron Riskie, a longtime supporter of the Bottom Dollar proposal, says the decision is "a big and bold step" for Woodbury.

"The primary impact (will be) increased foot traffic in the downtown, especially in the morning," the mayor says via email. "I believe only a food store of this size could do this. I'm happy to have Bottom Dollar, and I'm happy to be rid of a vacant building and lot."

Some critics lamented the proposed market's impact on traffic, while others feared for the future of the vintage Acme supermaket at the northern edge of downtown.

And at the Main Street Woodbury page on Facebook, three commentators were not so...upbeat.

"How about a chef's market instead?" said one.