Wayne Town Center's Expansion Plans Bigger, Richer
High-end stores, fitness center slated to be a part of new shopping center as businesses have slowly come back to property near the Willowbrook Mall.
High-end retail stores and a fitness center could breathe new life into the Wayne Town Center.
Wayne Town Center Associates (WTCA) is applying to amend its original site plan to add more retail space to the once vibrant retail outlet located next to Willowbrook Mall.
The development project, which dates back to 2006, was designed to construct 700,000 square feet of building space on the 49-acre lot. WTCA wants to expand that footprint to about 750,000 square feet.
The Planning Board was slated to hear testimony on the application Monday, but Jerome Vogel, the lawyer representing the WTCA, requested the application be moved to the board’s Sept. 24 meeting.
The application calls for the Fortunoff building to be demolished. A new two-story building with multiple high-end stores and a fitness center is planned on going in its place.
Parking spaces will be installed where the center of the mall used to be located.
Getting the development project off the ground has been difficult.
A multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the center stalled when Fortunoff, one of the center’s anchor stores, went bankrupt a few years ago. The store closed in 2009. Borders Books & Music, Old Navy and Loehmann’s all pulled stores out of the center in 2008.
Most of the center was demolished in 2009 with JC Penny being the only remaining tenant.
Life has been ebbing back onto the site since then.
Olive Garden, Chipotle and Bahama Breeze restaurants have all opened. DSW Shoe Warehouse also opened a store and TGI Friday’s moved its restaurant from inside the center to a stand-alone facility in the parking lot.
Vornado Realty Trust bought a leasehold interest in the site for $12.5 million from Wells Fargo & Co. in late 2010.
Vornado spent $197,000 on developing the site in the first quarter of 2012 and $2.7 million in 2011. It is unclear how they spent the money.
Mark Semer, a lawyer who is representing Vernado, could not obtain a comment from his client Tuesday night.
Vornado transformed the aging Bergen Mall in Paramus into the Bergen Town Center, home to a Nike store and grocery store Whole Foods Market Inc.