Stretch of Bloomfield Avenue Targeted for Rehabilitation
Could be first step toward new ShopRite location.
A stretch of Bloomfield Avenue in West Caldwell where several vacant buildings stand may be en route to getting a makeover.
West Caldwell Township Administrator Jock Watkins said last week the township's governing body recently approved a resolution to designate a section of Bloomfield Avenue west of Passaic Avenue and encompassing Kirkpatrick Lane as an "area in need of rehabilitation."
Watkins explained it is now up to the town's Planning Board to review the Council's resolution and make recommendations. Once this work is complete, the Planning Board's recommendations will be reviewed by the Council.
The Council approved the resolution after receiving a request from Ned Gladstein, the owner of ShopRite in West Caldwell, who is said to want to relocate his Passaic Avenue supermarket to this part of Bloomfield Avenue—a plan he neither confirmed nor denied when reached for comment.
The town looked at the lots in question by Kirkpatrick Lane up to and including the old Justus Buick property, which is owned by Gladstein, the vacant gas station and the Burger King. While Burger King is a viable business, Watkins said it has to be included since it falls in between the lots in question.
Watkins also said after receiving Gladstein's request, the town also added an additional area on Kirkpatrick Lane by the sewer pumping station. "All these lots meet the town's criteria," Watkins said.
In addition to the Planning Board review, West Caldwell has also asked the township engineer to evaluate the infrastructure to determine if it adheres to established codes.
At a previous Council meeting on August 2, Mayor Joseph Tempesta told Patch plans for the area have been "brewing for several years."
In a campaign profile last year Tempesta said while the majority of West Caldwell's business area is already developed, "negotiations are going on to redevelop an abandoned piece of property along Bloomfield Avenue across from Essex Mall into a new ShopRite."
When contacted by Patch about plans for a new store, Gladstein said he had no comment.
A West Caldwell Planning Board meeting originally scheduled for Monday, August 22 has been rescheduled to Monday, August 29. An agenda was not available as of press time.
Additional reporting by Teresa Akersten.