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What Stores Would You Want in Clark's New Town Center?

What stores do you shop in that you'd love to have here in town? What restaurants do you think Clark could use?

Now that the Clark Planning Board approved rezoning the 28-acre former U.S. Gypsum paper plant to encourage development of a new town center, we are asking our readers:

What would you like to see there?
What stores do you shop in that you'd love to have here in town?
What restaurants do you think Clark could use?
What do you hope the property looks like?

The mayor has suggested that the new town center will be home to a range of mid-size stores not currently available in Clark. When asked to name some in this genre at the planning board meeting, the mayor mentioned a Men's Wearhouse or Home Goods. The plan is for one larger, supermarket-sized store and the rest to be under 50,000 square feet in a one-story complex. The zone spans from the Gypsum property to include all of the lots on the ShopRite side of Central Avenue.

The aesthetic vision for the new "Limited Commercial Industrial" district describes an environmentally friendly commercial center with retail and office space in "a park like setting with tree-lined streets" and with "a central architectural focus such as a fountain, plaza, clock tower or landscaped boulevard." (See a PDF of the full report in our gallery, right.)

The construction of a new town center is not likely to begin until sometime well in the future, dependent on a developer purchasing the property and having a plan approved by the planning board. That developer will ultimately decide which businesses will be renting there.

What businesses would be a good addition to Clark? Tell us in the comments.

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Our story for the Planning Board meeting that approved rezoning the Gypsum property:

At Tuesday night's special meeting, Clark Planning Board members unanimously approved a master plan revision that will rezone the 28-acre former U.S. Gypsum paper plant to encourage development of a new town center.

The plan, prepared by Planner Kevin O'Brien of Shamrock Enterprises and Town Engineer Richard O'Connor, suggests a new "Limited Commercial Industrial" district for the Gypsum property (which is currently zoned for industrial use) and the ShopRite side of Central Avenue from Raritan Road to the Parkway circle. The vision presented in the plan is for a new town center – an environmentally friendly commercial center with retail and office space in "a park like setting with tree-lined streets" and with "a central architectural focus such as a fountain, plaza, clock tower or landscaped boulevard." See a PDF of the full report in our gallery, right.

Read the rest of this story: UPDATED: Clark Says Yes to Plan for Town Center on Former Gypsum Site

Read more:

Mayor Responds to Gypsum Rezoning Criticism; Public Hearing Tonight at ALJ

Clark Residents Voice Concerns About Proposal for New Town Center on Gypsum Site

Mayor Bonaccorso Asks: What Do Residents Want Built at Gypsum Property?

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

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john March 29, 2013 at 07:25 PM
Whole Foods, Wegmans, LYFE Kitchen
Perc April 02, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Wait. Let me get this straight. You want a "veggie or veg friendly place" AND a churresqueria? Wow. Talk about a contradiction in terms!
Diane Krajenski April 02, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I would like to see a good restaurant, one that is not upscale. a good hair salon. Clark really lacks a good hair salon. Crate & Barrel would be attractive to me. No Kohl's. Those type of stores are all ready located by Targets and Marshalls. unique boutique type stores not the same old stores to draw shoppers into the area.
barbara claRK April 02, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Wegmans, Wegmans, Wegmans...that would be great to have one local. Also, a nice bar/restaurant meeting place for older adults would be a plus....entertainment wouldn't hurt either...maybe 2 piece acoustic.
ClarkRes April 03, 2013 at 12:51 AM
FIVE GUYS BURGERS
Mom April 03, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Anyone ever see the Clifton Commons on Rt 3 ?? It has a little of everything except for recreation..clothing, accessory stores, beauty supply, yogurt, restaurants, liquor store, etc. and it looks very appealing from the street. Have trees and sidewalks on the interior part of the Commons...very nice setting. Of course would LOVE to see a Wegmans so I don't have to drive to Woodbridge so often!
FEDUP FROM CLARK April 05, 2013 at 04:35 PM
Just like others have posted WE HAVE ENOUGH STORES IN CLARK. The town is overly crowded now with large stores.
Jessica April 09, 2013 at 12:41 AM
I agree with everyone to a point. Obviously something for the kids would be great! :)However, since that is a hit or miss if that will happen I would like to say I would LOVE a Whole Foods Market, maybe it's to big for this site. But the old A&P site would be a big hit in my opinion. As for this site maybe Sephora, just about any type of food establishment would be great, I wouldn't mind an alcohol establishment either. I'm far from an alcoholic but there really isn't anything in town for anyone who might want to have a night out away from the kids. In the long haul I'm sure whatever does go up will be in good taste for our town.
JFW April 09, 2013 at 05:42 PM
I think a shopping center with too many options is going to create a traffic nightmare. That being said, I like the idea of a recreation center such as the Woodbridge Y and a couple of dining options such as the Outback and Olive Garden to eliminate area residents having to get on Route 22 and wait 45 minutes to get in these two places, and a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse for a more upscale option. Maybe a Dick's or Sports Authority to coincide with the rec center.
Cringle April 10, 2013 at 06:29 PM
Just a Buffalo Wild Wings and park land
Sarah April 11, 2013 at 01:50 PM
Homegoods, Trader Joes and a nice family owned (non-corporate) restaurant. Something similar to the Blackthorn Family Restaurant and Pub in Kenilworth!!
Karen April 11, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Something for kids & families for sure!! Ice cream/yogurt shop, some upscale stores, and a food store that sells organic stuff like trader joes/wegmans. I agree with Sarah Blackthorn Restaurant is a perfect family place for a burger!
cliguori123 July 09, 2013 at 12:09 PM
cheesecake factory or cracker barrel.
Jacqueline July 09, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Wegmans, Trader Joes, White house/black market, Foot locker (for my kids) Keep it upscale. NO KMART, WALMART, TGIF, etc! NO LAUNDRYMATS, Keep it family friendly.
Lynn July 31, 2013 at 08:26 AM
There's nothing up-scale about Kohl's so I vote no to Kohl's. Yes to Cheesecake Factory, Trader Joes, Outback & the Gravity Vault for children. Would also like to see a discounted card store & perhaps a Gymboree kids clothes store along with a men's/ladies clothes store.
Donna Beach July 31, 2013 at 08:02 PM
Home Goods! Pet Smart! Wegmans! Olive Garden!
Janet August 01, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Costco would be nice since the closest one is in Union (on the other side of Rt. 22). They carry "better quality" items compared to other membership stores!
Janet August 01, 2013 at 01:52 AM
Costco would be nice since the closest one is in Union (on the other side of Rt. 22). They carry "better quality" items compared to other membership stores!
Janet August 01, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Costco would be nice since the closest one is in Union (on the other side of Rt. 22). They carry "better quality" items compared to other membership stores!
Janet August 01, 2013 at 01:54 AM
Costco!
Attack of the Baseball Cards August 23, 2013 at 01:16 PM
During this down economic time, the easy way to find out what types of businesses would be need at this location would be by doing a survey of the small established businesses in Clark. Find out which small businesses will be put out of business & then you'll know that stores & restaurants to replace in this mall. Sorry, I'm just a small business owner thinking of the repercussions of this project on fellow small businesses...
sharon.dimaggio December 26, 2013 at 07:39 AM
I think a Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx, Wegmans/Trader Joes, Harmon Drugs would all be great choices. Sharon
john December 26, 2013 at 09:06 AM
Perfection: http://lyfekitchen.com OR https://www.facebook.com/LYFEKitchen
john December 26, 2013 at 09:09 AM
We don't need no stinkin' liquor store there.
Kat Visich January 05, 2014 at 02:09 PM
If it has to be stores, then it should be geared toward "Made in America" http://www.madeinamericastore.com/ This kind of store would enhance Clark is as "a great American town" that is interested in keeping jobs in this country and promoting American & local products. Also Charlie Brown's, an American owned chain, advertises "part of the neighborhood" "we make you feel like family" Since they do so well in Westfield, there is always a waiting line, I think they would do very well here. I have researched all movie theater chains and except for the Met every company is owned by China... very scary when you think about the propaganda they could eventually force on America. I will leave it up to you and the voting citizens of Clark what they would like to see there. And speaking of vote this question should ne vted on in a special election
Lynn January 15, 2014 at 04:14 PM
A liquor store, BJ's instead of Wholesale Food Chain, discounted card store, Children's store such as Gymboree, Ice Cream/Yogurt store.
john January 15, 2014 at 04:58 PM
Who needs a liquor store -- yuck! BJs is in Linden and North Brunswick (where Costco is now building as well (with gas stations)), and Costco in Edison and North Plainfield is not so far -- doubtful they'd be here as well. It's so convenient to the Parkway that they must have lots of stores vying to move in. So we should have our pick of the litter! Would be nice to see some stores that are not often found. Ice cream parlors and Gymboree do sound great. Charlie Brown's would be nice -- miss the one on Rt 22 that closed. The Westfield one does well because the parking is free unlike the nightmare of downtown Westfield.
Kat Visich January 15, 2014 at 08:02 PM
No more Target/Kohl's type stores. I agree that stores that will compete with Clarkton Village SHOULD NOT go in the new plaza. There is a new yogurt store opening next to the post office and we already have a pet store, hobby shop and 3 hair and nail salons as well as Erika's, the Italian deli, within the Village. I agree with most everyone on Charlie Browns. I would still encourage the vote to be stores that are geared towards "Made in America"
john January 16, 2014 at 02:17 AM
We know that Made in America is mostly made in China. Where is there now a Made in America store -- can anyone name one? It's a global world now and Woodrow Wilson is gone, so good luck with that one, all stores have to compete. A good restaurant is sorely needed, especially where the parking would be free unlike Westfield and Cranford. And you can't be knocking out existing stores in Clark. I don't think we need another hamburger store. A good healthy food restaurant would be a godsend, being single and not cooking I can count on Whole Foods for snacks and salads but that's now far and better than Wegmans.
Karyn Kempson March 24, 2014 at 03:25 AM
Wegmans or Whole Foods would be great. How about Souper Salads or a much better salad chain than anything in NJ...Sweet Tomatoes. Also I like the idea of stores not in our area. Container Store, Crate & Barrel, Cracker Barrel. :)

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