Two months ago, the new AJ Wright store at the Marketbasket Mall opened with great fanfare following an expensive and esthetic build-out in the old Marketbasket store.
It was a great moment during a down economic time. AJ Wright’s new store was creating jobs, new business opportunities and was a great new addition to the burgeoning retail marketplace growing in the Everett Avenue business district.
Then came the bomb – a newsflash announcing that TJ Maxx, the owners and parent company of AJ Wright is scuttling the AJ Wright name by closing all 1600 stores in the nationwide chain.
According to company officials, the Chelsea store is to remain open and during the first two months of operation, returns have been more than satisfactory.
More than half the AJ Wright stores will remain open but under another name.
This includes the Chelsea store.
Company officials said the Chelsea store would very likely become a Marshall’s or a TJ Maxx.
City Manager Jay Ash told the Record he had made it known to company officials that he has a preference.
While he wouldn’t detail what exactly that preference is, it is well known that Ash is an avid Marhsall’s shopper.
The present Chelsea store is 35,000 square feet.
A Dockside Restaurant is also under construction and will be opening next to the store in late spring, 2011.
Other convenience shops are set to locate in the mall as well, according to Ash.
Recent news that the FBI will be locating its New England headquarters on the other side of Everett Avenue by the Wyndham Hotel has caused interest in the area to soar.
“There are many more retailers now searching out the area for possible space than ever before,” said Ash.
In fact, a Home Goods store is now under construction in the former Marketbasket space.