Land Use Highlights

Once in a while, not often, we do like to brag. As many of you are likely aware, one of theFirm’sspecialtiesisinthefieldofLand Use. We spend a lot of late nights out before Land Use boards in the region assisting our clients in their efforts to develop projects from the ground up or to expand and upgrade existing facilities. Representing all types of clients, we are proud to say it has been a great year for Land Use. Here are just some accomplishments made over the last year, big and small.
In the automotive realm, three important site plan approvals were created from our efforts. Tesla Motors opened at the former Sixth Avenue Electronics store in Paramus. This is its flagship store in New Jersey and is a trendsetter in the design and manufacture of premium electric vehicles. Paramus Honda continued its impressive Route 4 dealership expansion to include a new pre-owned automobile store and a separate automotive preparation and storage facility. For those in the know in the automotive industry, storage facilities are a critical, essential component to a successful operation. Paramus Honda has hit the trifecta resulting in better, more efficient service to its customers. Last but not least, All American Ford expanded and renovated its Paramus store into a state of the art facility. The Ford store includes a brand new showroom, service area and comfort zone for service clientele.

In the housing market, we have been busy in Ridgewood on behalf of our clients Garden Homes and Bolger entity, Two-Forty Associates, seeking amendments to the Ridgewood Master Plan to allow over 150 residential units to be built. That is an ongoing process, which we hope will soon result in zone changes, to be followed by site plan approvals. Our client, Shelter Group, is fast on its way to build a Senior Living Complex with 170 independent living, assisted living and Alzheimer’s units in a lush, campus like setting on an 11 acre site in Paramus.

We are very proud to have been deeply involved in the new Fair Lawn Promenade development located on Route 208 North in Fair Lawn. We worked closely with the owner/ developer Garden Commercial Properties of Short Hills, NJ to establish the zoning provisions necessary to convert the former Kodak Film laboratory facility into a thriving new retail, office and residential complex. With 150 new luxury apartments, Starbucks, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, Noodles and Company, The Habit Burger Grill, and much more, this exciting new development is making many people very happy. Also, the firm obtained major subdivision approvals for our client, West 26, LLC, for a six lot residential subdivision off Roosevelt Boulevard in Paramus, with construction set to begin this spring.

On the supermarket front, we have one Inserra Shoprite Supermarket approved in Wyckoff but under appeal by competitor Stop & Shop and another brand new 68,000 square foot Inserra store under construction, with a scheduled Grand Opening this March in Wallington.

Ridgewood Plaza 17, a new 16,000 square foot facility under construction on Route 17 in Ridgewood just before Linwood Avenue, is set to open with 8 retail tenants. If you are hungry, get ready to enjoy Nooshi Jon, a fast casual Persian style restaurant which recently received use approvals along Route 17 South. Or try Blaze Pizza which received approvals and opened its doors at Plaza 35 along Route 4 West in Paramus. And Panera Bread is starting construction on its third store located in Paramus at one the Laganella properties on Route 17 North. These are just a few of the dozens of restaurants we have helped get approved recently.

On the medical front, we continue to assist the Valley Health System. Valley is in the process of completing the Bolger Medical Arts Building on Linwood Avenue, Paramus, which will have an emphasis on medical research and cancer and cardiac care. This is an innovative and comprehensive concept bringing a fresh approach to healthcare.

Other approvals include the Children’s Therapy Center, a 39,000 square foot school for children and young adults with special needs in Oakland, the Church of Bergen, an 11,000 square foot House of Worship; the Evelyn Street Day School and the Lightbridge Academy, both of which are day care centers; and DDA Dance Academy, a dance and Pilates studio.

Last, but certainly not least, is the expansion of Paramus Park Shopping Center, approved to include an 88,000 square foot addition boasting a 10 screen movie theater and restaurants. You can expect “more of the same” in 2015.

Our Land Use department is bustling and there are many new applications in progress. We cannot share the details as they are not quite ready for public consumption, but there are some grand projects on the horizon which we expect to brag about next year.

James J. Delia is a Partner at Wells, Jaworski & Liebman who practices in the Land Use and Real Estate areas.

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