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What Should Take the U.S. Gypsum Factory's Place in Clark?

In this series, we ask for your vision for vacant properties.

What does Raritan Road need?

In our new series, we ask what you'd put in the available spaces in Clark and Garwood. In this edition, we tackle the former U.S. Gypsum paper manufacturing plant on Raritan Road, across from and

The factory was built in 1947 and operated as a paper manufacturer until its shuttering in August 2009. It has been on the market for the past six months. Mindy Lissner of CBRE Global Commercial Real Estate is the listing agent for the property.

"It’s been pursued by a number of people looking to redevelop," says Lissner. "We've had a good amount of interest. It would likely be sold for an alternative use, as the factory itself is antiquated."

Lissner says most of the parties are interested in the 27-acre property, not the buildings, and would tear down the factory. Lissner says the property will only require minimal remediation to meet environmental standards for new construction. The for-sale price on the property is not being disclosed, and interested buyers have to sign confidentiality agreements just to see the listing.

The land is currently zoned for industrial use, and potential new owners would likely be petitioning the zoning board for a zoning change.

"What we can do is bring it before council and deem it an area of redevelopment, so then they wouldn't have to get the zoning change," says Mayor Sal Bonaccorso.

Though rumors fly about what the property may turn into (one Facebook fan of ours said she heard it would become a Kohl's), Bonaccorso says he truly has no idea what the property will become.

"I've heard X, Y and Z. I've even heard it's going to be a new municipal complex," he laughs. "I can promise it won't be that, but otherwise, god only knows. Everyone is going to speculate. What I’ve learned is, until I see it on paper, all that is is pleasant conversation."

Bonaccorso does say what he hopes the property will not become. "God forbid they want to put more housing. I'm not in favor of any more housing," he says. "And I'm not in favor of big box stores. Am I open to shopping? Offices? A hotel? Restaurants and different things? Sure I am. But I've got to see it on paper and ask questions, because any one of those things could be done so they're good or could be a nightmare depending on the plan. We've got to start that way. Stay cool. Look at the issue, see what you've got and then go from there with an opinion."

So tell us, Clark. What would you put there? A mixed-use development? Shopping? Condos?

Take our poll and leave your vision for the space in our comments section.

Prospective renters out there? Mindy Lissner of CBRE Global Commercial Real Estate is the listing agent. Get in touch with her at 732-509-2831 (office), 732-261-6319 (cell) or by email at mindy.lissner@cbre.com.

About this column: In highlighting vacant buildings in Clark and Garwood, we aim to help residents take a proactive role in planning and building their community. Know of a vacant space we should highlight? Email jessica.remo@patch.com.

J. Edward CooperLevi April 27, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Movie theater other than an AMC Lowes owned would be phenomenal. It may shed a light of artistry rather than corporate domination. @Diane, PLENTY of people go to theaters regardless of Netflix (not flex) - But Rahway is building a beautiful theater on Hamilton Street that is going to knock the socks off people who are into the arts, along with designated artist space living and Broadway costume designers making the costumes...Clark is a beautiful suburban town- it's not uppity and it's not ghetto-it has a thriving middle class. It should be a town that is used as an example of middle class living;I would much rather come to Clark to go to the movies than Aviation Plaza, Mountainside or Menlo- hey if they did a real IMAX there it would be terrific . An adult community would be wonderful, it wouldn't impact the school system...anything geared towards DINKs would be great. I'm still skeptical whether the land itself is cleared from the EPA. That could be very expensive.
Kraft Mnich August 02, 2013 at 11:40 PM
A Drive-In theatre would be cool.
Larry Russo August 05, 2013 at 01:35 AM
How about integrating the land AROUND the proposed shopping center a walking path - so when you drop someone off to shop you have an option to STAY PARKED and go for a walk under nice tree lined paths AROUND the complex.... maybe a nice LARGE coffee shop - NO STARBUCKS or D&D - and NO WALMART BANKS or goddamn NAIL SALONS !!! - how about something different! Oh and let's make parking EASY - with TREES for SHADE. I'd like to see a really nice pet store and a hobby shop. I wish Clark could bring back the BOWLING LANES... even on a smaller scale for recreation with the kids.
Regina Collins September 21, 2013 at 11:13 PM
I grew up in Clark. As I understood the town is zoned not to have a downtown. Hopefully a development of this type can bring ratables to the town. I know the people who live near here aren't going to be happy, but when you buy a home you should be aware of where you are buying and what that implicates. I live in Cranford on a major thoughfare and I know there are things that can happen that I may not like, but I knew that when I brought my house. Some thing you have to live with even though you may not like them
Larry Russo October 10, 2013 at 11:52 PM
clark needs a CAR WASH !!!

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