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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.