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Town Center Application Likely to be Carried — Again

Wayne Town Center Associates asks matter to be carried to the Planning Board's Oct. 22 meeting.

An application to rebuild the Wayne Town Center on Route 23 is on the agenda for the next Planning Board meeting Monday.

Although the application is on the agenda, the applicant, Wayne Town Center Associates (WTCA), has requested the matter be carried to the board’s Oct. 22 meeting.

The board was slated to hear testimony last month but WTCA’s laywer, Jerome Vogel, requested the application be moved to Monday’s meeting.

The development project dates back to 2006. It was designed to bring 700,000 square feet of building space on the 49-acre lot located next to Willowbrook Mall.

WTCA is amending its site plan. It now wants to build 750,000 square feet.

The application calls for the Fortunoff building to be knocked down and a new two-story building with multiple high-end stores and a fitness is planned on replacing it.

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. Other anchor stores, including Old Navy and Borders Books & Music, pulled out of the mall in 2008.

Most of the center was knocked down in 2009. JC Penny is the only remaining tenant.

Olive Garden, Chipotle, and Bahama Breeze restaurants have all opened. TGI Friday’s moved its restaurant from inside the center to a stand-alone facility in the parking lot near Route 23 South.

Vornado Realty Trust bought a leasehold interest in the site for $12.5 million from Wells Fargo & Co. in late 2010.

Vornado transformed the aging Bergen Mall in Paramus into the Bergen Town Center, home to a Nike store, grocery store Whole Foods Market Inc., and other retail and restaurant outlets.

— 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.

Nose Wayne September 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Hope our lovely planning board doesn't mess up again like it did with State Farm and let them build what they want down there.Olive Garden, Chipotle and Bahama Breeze were a welcome site to the shopping mall. Let's finally bring Wayne Towne Center back to life. We'll all be watching, don't make the same mistake.

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