STAFFORD – One of the largest shopping centers in the township is about to receive an extreme makeover.
Manahawkin Commons is a huge shopping plaza home to the Regal Cinemas 10 and the vacant Kmart store. After the township Planning Board approved some new decisions, the complex will now be acquiring brand new stores in the future.
As stated in the planning documents on file in Stafford Township’s municipal building, marketing materials and meeting minutes, here are the new stores expected to come:
- The vacant Kmart building will be divided to make spaces for four stores.
- TJ Maxx and HomeGoods will move to the Kmart building.
- Ross Dress for Less will take a spot next to TJ Maxx/HomeGoods. This will be the first Ross Stores’ location in Ocean County.
- Old Navy will take a spot next to Ross.
- Burlington, formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, will move into the 40,000-square-foot store that TJ Maxx and HomeGoods are currently located in.
- Ulta Beauty will move from Stafford Square shopping center and into Manahawkin Commons.
The vacant Kmart, which has been sitting empty since 2017, will now be home to three new stores. In light of many stores and businesses closing due to COVID-19, Stafford’s Mayor Greg Myhre says that he and the Township Council are facing any challenges COVID-19 brings.
“Stafford, like all communities, has gone through many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Myhre said. “Our first priority is the safety of our residents. Regarding local businesses, we have held web conferences with local business owners to get their input on how to safely reopen. We took that feedback and worked together with the Township staff to put in a process to establish safe outdoor dining and outdoor fitness centers. We also took this information back to the Governor’s office to advocate for all businesses to be able to be reopened. We continue to look for anything that may support our businesses and community during this time.
“The K-Mart center that was recently approved by the Planning Board, we continue to work with developers and business entities to attract and keep commercial enterprise in the Township. People are confident in the direction that Stafford is heading and we are seeing that with the multitude of businesses that are planting roots in our town,” Mayor Myhre said.