CARTERET — Approximately 600 people attended a Grand Opening ceremony yesterday in Carteret, welcoming P.C. Richard to Carteret and showcasing their long-awaited 400,000 sq. ft. retail center and warehouse. Presentations were given by Mayor Dan Reiman and members of the Richard family.
Reiman announced in November that construction on the retail portion of P.C. Richard & Son’s Carteret facility was recently completed. The company, one of the most rapidly expanding electronics retailers in the metropolitan area, first began construction on its warehouse & retail center in 2009, and has recently joined Carteret’s Urban Enterprise Zone.
The retail center is now open and stocked for the holiday season, according to company representatives.
The pre-existing 65,000 sq. ft. former CRP facility has been restructured, according to Gerard Construction Corp. representatives. The entire property conversion and development has called for the remolding of a 279,385 sq. ft. warehouse, distribution facility, and the construction of a 20,000 sq. ft. office building, and a 100,000 sq. ft. warehouse expansion. Once completed, the total area of the new facility will exceed 400,000 square feet.
In addition to the new Carteret retail and clearance superstore, 15 acres of existing light industrial space has been converted into office and warehouse/distribution space for PC Richard & Son’s management operations.
Through redeveloping the existing structure and property, P.C. Richard has saved 25-30% on construction costs, according to Site Superintendent Ron Oiler.
To date, all construction has been performed through union labor, with the creation of over 70 construction jobs through this phase alone.
“The opening of P.C. Richard & Son is a milestone in Carteret’s economic development,” Reiman said. “Their arrival will help redefine West Carteret as a consumer destination while creating private sector jobs, and has already allowed for over $15 million in union construction work. With its history of quality service, and convenient location adjacent to the N.J. Turnpike, this P.C. Richard superstore is yet another watermark in the growth of our business community, and the continuing expansion of our commercial tax base.”
In 2008, the borough entered into a $100 million dollar redevelopment agreement with A.J Richard & Son, Inc. (Parent Company of the P.C. Richard’s Home Electronic Super Center) for Phase I of the West Carteret Minue Street Retail Redevelopment Area.
As part of the redevelopment agreement between the Borough of Carteret and P.C. Richard’s, the company would begin construction on a retail and clearance superstore on Minue Street, fronting the New Jersey Turnpike.
Carteret (UEZ) Urban Enterprise Program certification will provide P. C. Richard & Son with state tax benefits and employment incentives, and consumer incentive through the reduced sales tax rate of 3.5% on all retail sales. Reduced sales tax have helped provide a competitive edge for attracting customers to participating businesses throughout New Jersey.
“We expect P.C. Richard to serve as the welcome mat to further commercial growth in West Carteret,” Councilman and Finance Chair Jorge Diaz added, “this is one of many large-scale improvements that are helping redefine Carteret as a regional destination for shoppers and other businesses. Despite Governor Christie’s re-channeling of U.E.Z. funds, we expect Carteret’s continuing participation in the program to help foster considerable economic growth in this area.”
Pieter Christian Richard, a Dutch immigrant, worked as a milkman in Brooklyn when he opened a hardware store in 1909 with his wife, Adelta, in a small space they rented. They eventually moved to a building they bought in Queens, and in order to stimulate business, began offering credit, accepting as little as 50 cents a week. P.C. Richard & Son later made claim to being the oldest appliance store in New York, if not the entire country.
Their son, A. J. Richard, became president of the company in 1947, when his father retired. There was a second Queens store in 1952, when P.C. Richard opened a third in Bellmore, a community in Long Island’s Nassau County, by which time the company was selling television sets, as well as radios and a variety of home appliances. Honesty and integrity became hallmarks of the company’s success, and as populations continued to fill the two Long Island counties east of New York City, P.C. Richard grew with them.
In 1986, P.C. Richard had 16 stores, including five newly opened in Queens, ranking ninth among major appliance dealers in the United States, with sales volume of $96 million in these appliances alone. The company had sales in excess of $200 million in 1987 and was the largest General Electric dealership in the nation. Hundreds of appliances were on display in its stores, which averaged 10,000 to 11,000 square feet in size. By this time Gary Richard had succeeded his father as president and corporate headquarters were located in Hauppauge, Long Island.
In the summer of 1995, P.C. Richard’s built a new warehouse and corporate headquarters in Farmingdale, the size of 15 football fields and the largest on Long Island. In 1996 P.C. Richard opened its first Manhattan store by taking a 20-year lease on a three story building in the Union Square area. With the opening of this outlet the chain had 38 stores, up from 31 in 1995 and including its first store in Westchester County, New York, and owned 22 buildings. Its average showroom offered 5,000 items, including personal computers. P.C. Richard’s 1995 fleet of 60 trucks and 35 trailers was averaging 1,000 deliveries a day.
In 2008, PC Richard and the Borough of Carteret entered into a $100 million dollar redevelopment agreement for the West Carteret Minue Street Retail Redevelopment Area. P.C. Richard recognized the potential value of the Carteret location, and the Borough recognized that P.C. Richard, a part its regional history and a business mogul, would be a welcome addition to its business community.
Photo credit: Ron McPhee/ Office of Mayor Dan Reiman, Carteret, N.J.