After several years of planning, construction has begun on the new Super Buy-Rite Liquor store behind the existing store on the Pennington Circle.

The construction, which should be completed by next summer, is expected to alleviate some of the current traffic issues on the Circle by shifting the store’s main traffic access to Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, across from the Wells Fargo bank parking lot. The new main entry/access will accommodate truck traffic.

“The traffic engineer, Township, and us — being both residents and owners of the property — all agree that it will improve the congestion on the Circle and make things safer for everyone,” Buy-Rite owner Arjun Bathena said.

The new construction will allow Bathena to expand and modernize the liquor store and will also include space leased to a CVS drug store, which includes a drive-thru service window. The building will total 29,000 square feet with 20,000 for retail use. The current store is about 11,000 square feet.

The five-acre site combines four parcels of land Bathena acquired where Route 31 joins the north end of the circle before it veers off to Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, also known as Highway 546. It took Bathena seven years to acquire the land that surrounds the BP gas station, which will remain in place. 

In addition to shifting the main entry, access to the site will be restricted from Route 31 leaving the Circle. Bathena has agreed to pay for a traffic barricade that prevents a left turn into the lot from northbound Route 31. Entry will still be allowed from southbound lanes. 

The Township Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment approved the site in October 2015, including variances that allow for the CVS drive-thru window and 300 square feet of signage on the building. Once the new building is finished, the existing building will be demolished. The site will ultimately have 158 parking spaces.

Current Buy-rite location. Both this and featured photo are from the Planning Board Application

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