What Should Go On The Former MVC Site on Route 23?

Site has been vacant for a few years.

Lines of poeple used to stretch out of the former Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) building at the end of every month. Now, weeds cover the ground in front of the building. The parking lot never has any vehicles in it. 

The facility has been vacant for years since the MVC moved out a few years ago. 

Acts of criminal mischief occurred on the site in 2010, have previously said. Four men were in December of 2010. 

What should go on the site? It is on a very heavily-traveled roadway and right next to and across from commerical plazas with several busineses in each one.

Let us know in the comments below.

tk _njwayne April 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM
the building was sold in the later part of 2011, so maybe ask the new owner...why ask the public ?
Sandy Fantau April 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM
If I'm not mistaken didn't they want to put in a small shopping mail with apartment on top?
Wayne Resident April 09, 2012 at 09:07 PM
No, that was proposed for the Wayne Hills mall area.
Sandy Fantau April 09, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Thanks, I new it was some where.
Wayne resident April 09, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Silly question!
Wayne resident April 09, 2012 at 10:32 PM
How about a wonderful company offering lots of jobs that would be nice!
Sue April 09, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Not a silly question...I'd like to see a nice strip mall with stores/shops other than dollar stores. Thanks for asking!!
Pad April 10, 2012 at 09:40 AM
How about a tax paying ratable. Wayne has too many State, County buildings and other entities that are exempt from paying taxes. We need ratable to bring some tax relief to Wayne's residents.
Josie Wanna April 10, 2012 at 11:36 AM
Something ratable? LOL everyone will just vote against it like they do with everything else!
Steven Rose April 10, 2012 at 12:08 PM
It was sold and the sign says or did say retail coming soon. Just get it filled.
wyldthang18 April 10, 2012 at 01:25 PM
How about adding all the other empty buildings in town to the list. Cost cutters, Friendly's, the deserted car dealership/old milk barn. I'm glad someone mentioned Wayne hills mall, that place is pathetic and the town should just seize the property from the guy who owns it and let businesses in so we can finally get some tax relief. And please stop talking about adding apartments/condos or anything. Our town is already got enough problems without adding more people, and kids to the school system too. It can't even repave the bad roads.
Bill April 10, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Vacant/Unoccupied Buildings: Totowa Road Commercial Buildings Restaurant across from Preakness Chevrolet Old State Farm Complex Old MVA Building Old Firestone building next to CVS in Preakness Mall Etc, Etc Eminent Domain is a very slippery slope. There are also many Non-Profits that do not pay property taxes. Schools, churches, etc. Someone sent me a tax document evidencing a home in Wayne (48 Brandon Ave) that is owned by William Paterson University, housing the University President and paying no property taxes because of the school status. This translates to an additional $12,000 (plus or minus a couple of hundred dollars) in property taxes that is re-distributed to the remaining taxpayers. I do agree that there should be more ratables but also a re-look at the non-profits and their current exempt status which may be abused at the current time.
wyldthang18 April 10, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Thanks Bill.
Wayne Resident April 10, 2012 at 02:36 PM
What I don't understand is why is it so hard for Wayne to attract businesses in these open areas? I understand some of the spaces are big and maybe unusual but there are plenty of others that are not. Is it really the council that is not being effective here or something else? Wayne is a big town with no center business district, not sure if that is one of the reasons.
Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Wayne has, in the past, attracted interest from big box retailers who wanted to open stores on Rt. 23 in Wayne. I'm not sufficiently convinced that the details I've been given are really 100% true, so I won't publish them here. Suffice it to say, these big box retailers did open up on Rt. 23, just a bit up the road in Riverdale. Not sure why it was ok there but not ok in Wayne, on the same road...
Wayne's World April 10, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Big Box stores are not the only answer in the never-ending quest for ratables. High-end office space is far more lucrative and less invasive to the community. The minimum requirements for big box stores can barely be me on the Wayne stretch of Rt. 23. The lot sizes are not nearly large enough and the ingress/egress undersized for the size of these stores. We can blame a lot of the town's shortcomings on administrations current and past, but the recent demonization on these forums of our town government borders on the ludicrous. For a town of such size and with so many issues, Wayne would probably be best served to have a full-time mayor at this point. As bad as taxes are, a few big box stores would have made a negligible difference in tax ratables, but increased the need for police, both for traffic and criminal activity, and would have turned Rt. 23 into the parking lot that is Rt. 17 in Bergen. Wayne has underutilized office space on Rt. 23 as well as Valley Rd. extension, and should be enticing companies large and small to get into these places. It will help local commerce, increase ratables, and keep the character of the town from completely exploding into a city.
Wayne Resident April 10, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Completely agree, with a town of close to 60,000 people, the mayor should be full time, very surprising it is not.
Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
While your view that big box on 23 would be negligible tax-wise for the town mirros that of Councilwoman Miller-Ryan, it really distorts the truth. The truth is that no single property in the township will make more than a negligible difference. Not my $36,000 and not Best Buy's $250,000. But the dollars add up. I also question your conclusion that big box moved from Riverdale to Wayne would make any menaingful difference in traffic or need for police along the stretch of 23 that goes through Wayne. It doesn't make sense. Moreover, it should go without saying that there won't be a single solution to this serious fiscal problem. We will need big stores, office buildings, strip centers, etc. As far as criticism of the town is concerned, everyone's entitled to their opinion. I think most people agree on one thing -- our tax dollars and other resources need to be effectively and carefully managed in these difficult economic times, and every penny matters.
wyldthang18 April 10, 2012 at 06:56 PM
Maybe no one wants to occupy the Valley Road Ext. building because the roads are so terrible to drive on? Silly me to think that the taxes I pay should go for paving the roads when they deteriorate.
Wayne's World April 10, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I drive Rt 23 every day. The Riverdale big box stores are drawing mainly from up north and the I-287 corridor. Sure, there is some traffic from Wayne but the traffic is primarily confined to north and west of the Riverdale circle at the foot of Breakneck hill. The Target in Fairfield and Home Depot in Totowa tend to draw from Rt. 46 and points east and south, sparing Wayne much of the traffic. You are familiar with the zoning in this town and know that the typical big box store would have needed a signficant variance to fit in the old State Farm space. Parking would be undersized, the Ratzer Rd. ramp rendered virtually undriveable and the domino-effect would stretch Rt. 23 northbound traffic all the way down to Rt. 80 on weekends. The Riverdale space was the old Sun Tan Lake area and had far more acreage and set back than any property on Route 23 in Wayne. I applaud the town for NOT giving in to the big box stores. As for the WH Mall property, I would love to know what the owner is holding out for. The Record reported awhile back that he was hoping to attract a big box, but the guidelines for those stores is to pretty much only set up on highways, just like car dealerships. The rationale that the dead mall is a write-off against income producing properties doesn't seem right. Why use something as a tax write-off of sorts (still paying R.E. taxes) when it could be an income-producing asset? Rob, do you know the owners? Any insight on the mall?
wyldthang18 April 10, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Last I heard the owner of WHM was purposefully raising the rent to prevent possible stores from coming in. Then when he shows that there is no business he can appeal to the town for a reduction in the taxes he pays which hurts everyone. He was hoping to eventually push out the remaining tenants and build a condo complex which we all know is a terrible idea.
John Davies April 10, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Perhaps you are not aware of the hue and cry that went up among the residents in the neighborhood behind the site of the former State Farm complex when the town was entertaining a proposal from Lowes to build there. That effectively killed the proposal. I know there are some who would like to believe that Scott Rumana, or somebody who once passed him in rush hour traffic, diabolically undid the deal for his own purposes, but I think it was the NIMBY mentality that prevailed.
wyldthang18 April 10, 2012 at 07:13 PM
The town is at a stand still then. Not enough space for large companies, too much for small companies, and people vetoing any possible solutions. At this rate we should just level all the empty buildings and go back to farmland. :)
Wayne Resident April 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I will say this. At least Wayne was able to attract Toys R us to that very nice site. That entire area on berdan ave as you head North towards Oakland appears to be very attractive with those townhouse developements on each side. Too bad other wayne areas can't experience something similar
tk _njwayne April 10, 2012 at 07:19 PM
I work at the wayne solar center office building at 1655 valley road. (UPS leases 3 of 4 floors..top floor is still vacant) the valley road extention by our building is riddled wit hpotholes and was terrible in the 2010-2011 winter....usually one lane was passable in the snow. I recently read that wayne recieved a state grant for road paving and it said that valley road would be getting paved once thet recieve quotes for the job. The wayne solar center recently completed the solar panel car ports at our building. I can only hope that valley road recieves a much needed improvement this year!!!
Wayne's World April 10, 2012 at 07:21 PM
I'll admit to a NIMBY mentality. As it is, Wayne has 10,000 more residents than when I was growing up, and I can really feel the difference in the town. It's a real negative aspect, at least for me. Of course the homeowners opposed it, but that ignores the fact that the property was about half as large as required by zoning to accommodate a store of Lowe's size, so the town would have had to make an incredible accommodation. As it is, the Kohls parking lot next door is inadequate for the traffic that little strip mall gets, and the ramp and Ratzer Rd. take a lot of extra traffic in that spot. The town over-developed in the wrong way over the past 20 years. Too much residential and too much dense building in locations. Personally, I would like to see non-producing properties returned to some kind of green space. I have called the municipal building on several occasions to try to get them to apply for green and blue acres funds to repatriate unused properties. There doesn't seem much motivation to do so. Like the saying goes, if you want something done, have to do it yourself. But if you are busy enough raising a family and trying to stay above water, how does one do it? The bureacracy even at the local level is just staggering...it's why a road can't be re-paved, bridges won't get fixed, etc. We are in a regulatory mess and it is asphyxiating our soul as a nation.
Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
I don't know the owners nor do I know anything about the property's history. I do know that someone wanted to open a garden center at Preakness Chevrolet, but wound up going to a neighboring community instead. I'm told it was because the approval process in Wayne was expected to be difficult at best, but not really sure what the whole story is. I don't think it has to be as hard as it seems to satisfy most of the stakeholders involved in order to attract businesses. Reducing regulation and red tape (and constant nickel & dime permitting charges) would be nice, and would help businesses succeed and provide jobs, goods & services to keep the community vibrant.
Rob Burke April 10, 2012 at 07:38 PM
@WW -- I agree with your comment about regulatory asphyxiation. I have to pay $250 a quarter to have three (good natured, friendly and very nice) town employees visit my property to test a valve that separates my well water line from my city water line. Now, it really doesn't need a quarterly test. How about annual? And in the remote chance the valve fails, the world will not stop spinning. Mixing well water and city water won't hurt anyone. Not like when Richard Pryor mixed skim milk with whole milk and caused that horrific explosion when hi dunked his cookie...
John Davies April 11, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Valley Road is a Passaic County Road. Any money Wayne Township receives from the state or any other source can not be used for Valley Road.
Former Wayne Resident April 13, 2012 at 01:32 PM
sort of shocked to hear you don't have a full time mayor, why not?? I lived in wayne for 29 years and i was so surprised to see how much the town has grown. i now live in the largest town (by area, 67 square miles) in ct with a population of aprox. 30,000 and we have had a full time mayor.


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