Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Wayne Approves Extension For Preakness Shopping Center Redevelopment

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WAYNE, NJ — A years-long effort to overhaul Wayne’s Preakness Shopping Center has yet to come to fruition, with the developer asking township officials for some time to modify their application.

The strip plaza at Hamburg Turnpike and Alps Road is set for a major renovation, under a plan approved in 2019. The roughly 39-acre property is owned by Hekemian and Co., based in Hackensack.

Developer Wayne PSC LLC’s proposal would include demolishing the vacant IHOP and Macy’s, reconstructing part of the building where CVS and The Gallery A Salon currently sit, and adding a new restaurant with a drive-thru.

A 20,000-square-foot building would be constructed on the IHOP site along Alps Road, and the Macy’s building would be replaced with another retail space, measuring about 60,010 square feet.

The township and Wayne PSC LLC also reached an agreement in 2020 that the redevelopment plans would include a residential community with 244 units, 37 of which would be designated for affordable housing.

Planning board members unanimously approved an extension for the redevelopment plan at their June 26 meeting after hearing from Mark Semeraro, an attorney for the developer.

Semeraro said he expects any changes to the approved plans to be submitted within six months, and that he wanted to have the application extended so that they did not have to re-submit a totally new one.

He said his client has been delayed by multiple factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic and market shifts.

“I know that it’s a little bit of a leap of faith that we’re asking here,” he said, acknowledging that many of the storefronts are vacant but also saying Hekemian has been a long-time tenant of Wayne.

“Things just aren’t turning out as well as everyone anticipated with the markets, and that’s playing a role in some of this,” he added.

Mayor Chris Vergano said that officials had faith in the owners to come forward “with revisions that would work.”

“No one anticipated that interest rates would be where they are today,” he said, adding, “I think it’s important for us to realize that it’s not easy to do a shopping center redevelopment.”

You can see a conceptual design for the Preakness Center site here.

The planning board also heard from a representative from the Passaic County Technical-Vocational Schools about possible plans to add a new athletic facility on campus, and a parking garage and near the intersection of Reinhardt Road and Kattak Parkway.

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