The opening of a shopping complex from 88th to 91st Streets in North Bergen will not only bring new stores to town, but new jobs for residents of northern Hudson County.
Vornado Realty Trust, Inc. began developing the site several years ago on the spot of a former trucking facility. When completely open, 200,000 square feet of retail space will be added to North Bergen’s Urban Enterprise Zone, an area where only 3.5 percent sales tax is charged. The funds that are raised from these taxes go into a UEZ Trust Fund that towns may use for continued improvements.
Aside from serving Hudson County residents, the mall is also expected to draw Bergen County residents, whose old “blue laws” keep stores closed on Sundays.
“We need a workforce before the store opens.” Amy Shanler
Jobs already available
According to BJ’s Wholesale Club Spokeswoman Maria Fruci, roughly 200 jobs were created when the 115,595 square foot store opened this past August.
Employees receive free memberships to the club, sick and vacation time, and with competitive benefits that include medical, dental and life insurance. The benefits are based on the number of hours worked rather than being part or full-time, said the spokeswoman.
While BJ’s is currently fully staffed, those seeking employment may pick up an application at the club.
Other stores that have boosted jobs in North Bergen since the mall’s opening include Applebee’s, El Polo Loco, Vitamin Shoppe, GameStop, and Supercuts.
Walmart now hiring
Last month, Walmart rented out a storefront at 7827 Bergenline Ave. as the store’s hiring center. The center is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Interested applicants can also apply online at http://walmartstores.com/careers/7745.aspx.
In published reports, the company stated that they hope to hire 650 when the store opens early next year. When the North Bergen Reporter visited last week, a few people were waiting for interviews while dozens of others applied for jobs at computer stations.
A reporter was told numerous times that the general manager, and then a press relations officer, would get back to them with more information on the hiring process. The North Bergen Reporter also made many phone calls, none of which were returned in time for publication.
More jobs to come
Town Administrator Christopher Pianese said that the UEZ office, located at 7616 Broadway, has helped a number of people find employment at the new retail stores. The office also has hosted job fairs.
“It’s positive all around and we’re hoping that the majority of the jobs end up with North Bergen residents,” said Pianese.
According Staples Spokeswoman Amy Shanler, when Staples opens in early March 2010, around 20 full and part-time jobs will be created. The jobs are already listed online at www.staples.com/jobs.
“We need a workforce before the store opens,” said Shanler. “The jobs are posted now.”
According to PetSmart Representative Jessica Douglas, when the store has its grand opening on Feb. 6, around 25 to 35 jobs will have been filled. The store will have a grooming saloon and accredited pet-training service, along with 10,000 products.
She said that a job fair will likely be held around December, but that those interested can apply at www.careers.petsmart.com.
Sleepy’s expects it’s showroom to open in a couple of weeks, according to Mike Bookbinder, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. The 6,000 square feet store will employ four or five people. Those interested should email their resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
T-Mobile and Payless ShoeSource will also be opening soon.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.