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Bringing More Ratables To Town Number One On Amato's List

Mayor extends invitation to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to see the Beachwood Shopping Center for herself

Ask Mayor what his number one goal is for the year and he answers without hesitation.

Ratables, ratables, ratables.

"The immediate challenge is to get some economic growth in the township," he said in a recent interview in his office at Town Hall.

Berkeley, a traditionally retail-poor town, has seen even more businesses shuttered over the past several months. The biggest blow was the Food Circus' closure of the in the Baywick Plaza off Route 9.

The supermarket was the anchor store for mall's other businesses.

Amato is determined to do as much as possible to speed up state approval of Berkeley's plan, a portion of the township's massive redevelopment plan.

He has invited Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to tour the deteriorating Beachwood Shopping Center, ground zero in the redevelopment plan. So far, he hasn't gotten an answer.

"I'm trying to get her down to tour the Town Center property," he said. "This way she can get a first hand feel of the .... I think they need to actually see it."

The Beachwood Shopping Center - dubbed Town Center 1 - is just one component or "node" in the township's massive redevelopment plan. The Berkeley Plaza shopping center, which has Shop Rite as the anchor store, and the land around Frederick Drive and the Shar-A-Dee apartments is designated as Town Center 2.

The third portion of the redevelopment plan is the extension of a light industrial area along Hickory Lane. The fourth section involves more intensive mixed use development of 73 parcels along Route 9 near Harbor Inn Road.

Township Engineer Jsaid earlier year that state Planning Commission approval for the Town Center portion of the plan could come by late spring or early summer.

Terry February 16, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Now lets see if all of the people that have nothing good to say step up to the plate and do it.
Hearme February 16, 2012 at 08:35 PM
No Terry people would rather complain and tell you everything that is wrong and scream "me! me! I want!" than actually do anything. I used to be the one writing all the letters and people would say "Hey I'll sign that too". Hell NO, not anymore. I tell them to write their own damn letters now.People in general have become lazy and selfish. It's sad to say. I just hope that people wake up in this country before it's to late. We need to fight for the things we need done to sustain us as a township, county, state and country. I doubt many will be bothered to make the effort.
John DiStefano February 17, 2012 at 12:35 PM
And no business is going to want to invest in Berkeley Twp while Rt 9 looks like a train wreck. Overgrown grass and shrubs. Hot dog carts ever few hundred feet Not to mention the prohibited sign that litter the corridor.
John DiStefano February 17, 2012 at 12:38 PM
This town definitely needs a facelift for sure. But it has to start outside of the town center first if we are ever to attract real, meaningful ratables. " if you build it, they will come"
Rita Imperato McGuire February 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Steve, I work for the Township and our new Mayor Amato has been in Townhall almost everyday since he was sworn in. Varano was rarely in the building the 12 years I worked there. Regarding clutter in the mayor's office, did you ever take a good look at the office when Mayor Varano was in power,,,,,,,,,now that was a mess. Leave our new mayor alone and let him do some good for this town. Get over it Steve, your man lost!!

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