WESTFIELD, NJ — Trader Joe’s has announced that its Westfield location, which suffered a collapsed roof during Winter Storm Jonas on Saturday, Jan. 27, will reopen, which might be good news for homeowners in the area.
A recent report by the real estate website Zillow found that homes near popular grocers, especially sustainable icons like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, are consistently worth more than the median American home. By the end of 2014, the report says, homes within a mile of either store were worth more than twice as much as the median home in the U.S.
“Like Starbucks, the stores have become an amenity in their own right – a signal to the home-buying public that the neighborhood they’re located in is desirable, perhaps up-and-coming, and definitely improving,” said Stan Humphries, Zillow’s group chief economist. “Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, the stores may actually drive home prices. Even if they open in neighborhoods where home prices have lagged those in the wider city, they start to outperform the city overall once the stores arrive.”
The report goes on to say that this is, in part, because people want to live in a neighborhood “favored by the generations buying homes now,” a generation that enjoys different priorities than their predecessors, such as downtown walkability and sustainable food products.
The Westfield branch of Trader Joe’s will likely have to be razed before it can reopen, according to the Westfield Leader, although the company is still figuring out what needs to be done. Almost all of the location’s roof collapsed, and there are enormous fractures along some parts of the building’s walls.
In the meantime, Trader Joe’s is encouraging its Westfield patrons to visit the company’s nearby locations, including Millburn and Florham Park.
“All Crew Members from our Westfield store have the option to work at other locations, and we are in the process of setting up those reassignments,” said a statement from Trader Joe’s. “We intend to reopen in this location.
Understanding the time it will take to reopen is a work-in-progress, as we determine what needs to be done. As soon as we have a realistic timeframe, we will share our plans. To our Westfield Customers, we value your patience and look forward to welcoming you back into your store as soon as possible.”