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State Farm Building Almost Completely Demolished

Township hopes the fact that the 'obsolete' building is gone will make the property more desirable to potential buyers.

The former State Farm building on Route 23 North is almost completely demolished.

Personnel were continuing to tear the building down Tuesday. Piles of debris lined the entire perimeter of the property. The building was old and not up to current construction codes.

"There are no plans for development but we hope they will be forthcoming because we'reanxious to see the property put to good use," said town planner John Szabo.

The property is located on the service road in between Valley National Bank and Kohl's department store. The Packanack Lake neighborhood is directly behind the property.

Lowe's applied to build a store on the property years ago. Hundreds of residents packed meetings in protest of the applicaton. They said that such a business would attract too much traffic, increase noise in the neighborhood, and devalue homes. 

Officials hope tearing the building down will make the property more attractive to developers. They said the property is a ideal place to develop on, being that it is located on a major thoroughfare. 

The property has an assessed value of $3.5 million; the building is valued at $1.5 million. More than $243,000 in taxes was paid on the property in 2012.

"The building is obsolete. Why pay taxes on it," Szabo asked. "In the long run, we benefit because we believe it'll be more marketable being vacant but that's a decision the owners make. We can't stop them from tearing down buildings."

Councilman Franco Mazzei, who represents the 3rd Ward where the property is located, did not return a message seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.

—  Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Torcat January 24, 2013 at 06:06 AM
I work in the next shopping plaza, and there are always children walking home from school in the afternoon. Why is there no safety precautions up, like fences or posted warnings to keep out?

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