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Poll: Should the Wayne Hills Mall Be Torn Down?

Long-standing shopping center is mostly empty now.

The Wayne Hills Mall is mostly empty.

For years, stores have left the once busy shopping center until now only Burlington Coat Factory, , and a few others remain. Most of the mall is closed off. The parking lot is often mostly empty.

Township officials have discussed developing the property, but the project has never gotten off the ground.

What should happen to the mall? Should it be torn down? Should a new mall be constructed? Should the township purchase the land and build a new town hall? What are your favorite memories of the mall?

Let us know by posting in the comments below or voting in the poll.

Pad April 02, 2012 at 09:47 AM
This is a disgrace. The Township keeps providing tax relief to the owner while our taxes increase. He owns other properties and uses this one to show a loss against his other ones. This area could be a gold mine if developed properly and a good ratable for the township.
Al Scala April 02, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Pad.....why is the Town giving him tax relief? That's an incentive not to do anything! He still probably has long term leases with Kmart, L.A.Fitness, Toys R Us, and a bank that sits on the property as well as Burlingtom which anchors the mall. I believe that Levine, the property owner still has offices there. The place is starting to look blighted and is not very attractive. I'm sure some savvy developer could come in an redevelop this tract. It;s a shame that our town gov't has taken somewhat of a passive attitude toward this very valuable property.
Rob Burke April 02, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Why would anyone undertake such a redevelopment project in this Town? The Town's often obstreperous attitude toward planning and zoning and a well-established track record for litigating from losing positions suggests that such a project will have its challenges just like all the others. Big box on Route 23, the Sports Dome, now the private school from Clifton, my wind turbine application, the mosque, etc., etc. etc.
virginia chiller April 02, 2012 at 12:02 PM
There are empty stores next to Marshall's. That's hurting their business. Look to the Montclair & Ridgewood models for attracting small businesses and restaurants. Even Sparta has puts $$$ into fixing up their strip malls.
eyes wide shut April 02, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Virginia, please dont compare Montclair and Ridgewood to a strip mall on a highway. Both places are downtown (Main St) locations. Both these towns don't really have "Mall" locations, or the highways to put them on. Smaller towns, want the "small town" look. Your NOT finding KMart's Home Depot's, and other big box stores in upscale towns like these, reason being they don't want them and rightfully so. Thats why residents and those from other towns flock there. Specialty shops, fine dinning etc..
Jane Slater April 02, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Many of us would rather go down Hamburg turnpike to get to some good shopping rather than go all the way to Willowbrook. Preakness Shopping Center seems to work pretty well. Why can't we attrack some nice businesses at Wayne Hills?
Joe videodummy April 02, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The last I heard it was still against the law to tear someone else's building down. The mall is empty because the owner's doubled the leasing prices after the contracts were up. They wanted a "Bryant Park" with some expensive condo's above the sidewalk shopping experience, but the township refused to change the zoning laws to provide them witht ther wishes. The question should be : Do we want our zoning officials to change the law to allow private apartments above our commerical retail space. ? How will changing the law affect our community ? How will this affect T-Bowl, Preakness, Ramapo Valley, and Pacanack Lake Shopping Centers when they decide to do the same ? What's next, Dorm rooms above our public schools ?
Jennifer April 02, 2012 at 01:51 PM
I think the mall should stay just put better more popular stores in it. Its a nice mall and its convienant. There is really nothing wrong with the mall itself. I remember going there as a kid and that mall was booming. Back when it was Meyer Brothers. Why can't they just put more appealing stores in there?
fboy1932 April 02, 2012 at 03:14 PM
That place can be a gold mine if know one got greedy including the building owner. There is so much potential into making it a great place to shop and eat.
fboy1932 April 02, 2012 at 03:16 PM
The reason why the stores went out of buisness was do to price gouging. Have you seen the prices on the clothing? it was too expensive and thats why people stopped shopping there.
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:00 PM
This story is a non story. The Mall is privately owned, so it is no one's business what the owner does with it, as long as the property maint code is followed, it is his business. The Property Taxes are based on the value. Personally I think it would have been well suited to a "Town Center Concept", The other thing to remember is that this is a closed mall, not a strip mall, so retailers are different. Anchor stores are not dime a dozen, they are hard to come by. There is a surplus of retail space as we go to on line retailing. Rob is just ranting, but he does make one valid point (it will be his only one for the week) and that is that the land use people in town are not properly handling their land use responsibilities if they allow personal preferences and biases to enter into the decision making process. And the Mayor and council would be well within right to ask for a resignation from each board member and then do new appointments from there.
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:01 PM
That strip mall is the most unsightly peice of ground in the entire town.
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:04 PM
T Bowl, Preakness, Ramapo and Packanack Lake are strip malls, they are not at all like the proposed Town Center concept . Also there is just a little matter of parking, none of the strip malls have anywhere near as must as Wayne Hills
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Stores seek space, landlords seek tenants. If there is no need for added space there is no seeking space, if tenants are not seeking space the landlord can stand on his head but he can't force someone to rent from him.
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM
How would you know that the "place is a gold mine"
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Rob, not your best effort--more thought less rant. We know that you are frustrated , with good reason, but try and focus on the need for the Boards to follow the law,and focus on the need for the Governing Body to see to it that the appointments to the boards are thoughtfully made and that they go out into the hustings and find people to serve who have the talent and ability and who are not just a "party" regular.
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Where does it say he is getting tax relief. Taxes are based on value.
1voice April 02, 2012 at 05:48 PM
the ihop in preakness shopping center is unsightly!!! Why is it still there??????
Scondo April 02, 2012 at 06:09 PM
I hop is probably still there because of zoning ordinance, if you tear it down you may not be able to replace it. But Voice is correct it is an awful eyesore and the owners are not good neighbors to the town. The town ought to force the issue as it is a health concern, what with all the rodents running in and out.
Al Scala April 02, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Frankly, I was not happy when IHOP didn't return. I do know the owners of the property and I do know they were looking for something more upscale to put there. Why something is not there as yet is somewhat surprising.
Pad April 02, 2012 at 07:27 PM
The mall is used as a loss against more profitable properties. He was given tax relief. Vacant property such as State Farm Building pay less due to the fact they are unoccupied. Otherwise they would tear the building down and just pay taxes on the land until someone bought it. The value of the mall is much less empty then if it was fully occupied. This is commercial property not residential. Yes, Burlington has a long term lease and thats part of the redevelopment problem.
fboy1932 April 02, 2012 at 07:30 PM
@ Scondo I wouldnt know but I honestly think it would. Why would the owner of this building let it collapse? something is behind it? I'm not sure and it doesnt make any sence. Maybe I'm nieve to what you know but if I were in buisness I sure wouldnt want my building to fold?
Joe videodummy April 02, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Very nice owners at WH Mall. Maybe the town ( not the officals ) should listen to what they propose.
Al Scala April 02, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Why doesn't the town look at this property as an undervalued or underused piece of property? My point is this......if the property was redeveloped with stores, eateries, movies, possibly apartments or offices above the retail, it would be assessed at a greater value and thus generate more tax dollars for the town. However, I guess the town has no legal avenue to pursue that angle.
the dude April 02, 2012 at 10:42 PM
The Wayne Hills Mall site would be perfect for that sports dome. But then DT Allen wouldn't have any mountain to move and soil to "mine", so they're probably not interested.
SG April 05, 2012 at 04:46 PM
It's private property but zoning should be allowed for other uses especially apartments/condos to allow for 20-30 somethings to stay in the area as opposed to relegated to their "parents' basements". Many studies show that this type of living areas do not add substantially to school populate as many families would not move to such smaller locations. A county planning survey held a few years ago showed overwhelmingly too that this would be welcomed. Here's an example of a type of place that would benefit many http://www.mainstliving.com/
Bee August 11, 2012 at 02:53 PM
They should put outlets stores in there like Tanger!

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