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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 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.
Katy 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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