Jason Wehle, a son-in-law of chief executive officer Danny Wegman, paid $500,000 in October 2007 for the retail liquor license formerly held by Corkscrewed on Marlton Pike. He purchased it in the name of JSW Wine & Spirits.
New Jersey law prohibits a person or corporation from owning more than two liquor licenses, limiting the ability of chains to open many liquor stores.
Wegmans and some other chain stores work with relatives or franchise owners to buy licenses to avoid violating the two-license limit. Wegmans, with seven supermarkets in New Jersey, sells liquor at its supermarkets in Manalapan, Bridgewater and Princeton. Wegmans owns the Bridgewater and Princeton licenses; the Manalapan license is in the name of a third party, with the liquor sales adjacent to the supermarket.
In Cherry Hill, the liquor store "could be accessible from the store, or it could be in another part of the development," Natale said. She said she did not know when a siting decision would be made.
Nancy Saffos, Cherry Hill municipal clerk, said there is no push to amend Cherry Hill's existing requirement that liquor be sold in an area segregated from the rest of a grocery store.
But she said a liquor license is a good investment in Cherry Hill, even if it can't be used right away.
One of the nine liquor distribution licenses in the township sold eight years ago for $55,100, she said. Wehle paid almost 10 times that amount for the license purchased last year.
"It's a wonderful investment. . . . It's definitely not a waste of money," she said.
Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or firstname.lastname@example.org.