VINELAND – Olive Garden finally appears to be coming to Vineland as part of a project spearheaded by furniture giant Raymour & Flanigan.
The New Jersey Economic Development Authority on Thursday approved a redevelopment project proposal designated for the site of the former Kmart on South Delsea Drive.
The roughly $13 million project calls for the renovation of the Kmart building into a 30,000-square-foot showroom for Raymour & Flanigan and a 50,000-square-foot location for Gabe’s, a discount clothing chain headquartered in West Virginia.
“The former Kmart property is a prime location along our main business corridor and we are excited to see it redeveloped,” Mayor Anthony Fanucci said. “The project is a perfect complement to the stores and eateries located at the adjacent Cumberland Mall. Working to bring jobs to Vineland is one of my highest priorities as mayor, and this project will be a significant addition to our local economy.”
Olive Garden, an Italian casual-dining chain that has topped the wish list of many Cumberland County residents for years, will join unspecified grocery and auto parts stores at the 15-acre site, according to the EDA.
The existing TD Bank and Arby’s restaurant will remain on location.
The project is expected to create 133 full-time jobs.
“This will be a good development for the area,” Vineland Economic Development Director Sandy Forosisky said in response to the approval. “The community will be very pleased — this area loves franchises.”
According to Forosisky, the city has been trying to attract Olive Garden to the area for many years now. The franchise restaurant had been eyeing that area of Delsea since at least 2010.
“That was something everybody always wanted,”…