Business & Finance

Newark Says No to Family Dollar Store

b4b3fad42768ccc8ea2a_FamilyDollar1.jpg
450223c45c8f13f94132_FamilyDollarRendering.jpg
e72abf42da925302cb78_residentsopposefamilydollar.jpg
b4b3fad42768ccc8ea2a_FamilyDollar1.jpg

A rusting, 1950s-era vintage Dodge sits on a weed strewn lot on the northeast corner of Broadway and Gouverneur Street in Newark’s Lower Broadway neighborhood, just north of the city’s downtown.

It’s a typical underutilized lot similar to many others scattered around the city and ripe for redevelopment. Family Dollar Store thought it would be a perfect location for their next retail outlet.

"We want to build a business here," said Todd Gannet, vice president of sales at the Boniakowski Commercial Group, which is seeking to develop the site on behalf of the North Carolina-based Family Dollar. "And in doing so, we want to help the community."

Sign Up for E-News

But a stream of neighbors, including members of the Broad Street Block Association, have banded together in opposition to the proposed project, which would be located in the heart of the Lower Broadway neighborhood.

“This should be the core of this neighborhood. The core of this neighborhood should not be a Family Dollar," said neighborhood resident Sergio Rodrigues during public comments at Monday night's Central Planning Board at City Hall.

"Newark will not be a great city plus or minus one more Family Dollar,” Rodrigues said. “And if we carve out our central commercial districts, that will be the opposite of making Newark great. Newark needs ratables, but we also need places to live. This is the worst possible project for the site."

The planning board sided with residents Monday, rejecting the proposed store outright.

Michael Piromalli, an attorney from the Bloomfield-based firm Gaccione Pomaco who represented Boniakowski Commercial Group, asked the board for an adjournment to consider possible changes to the project in light of the concerns expressed by citizens and the board, citing legal precedent and the suggested requirements provided by case law that would lead to an appeal if the board voted against the proposed Family Dollar chain store project.

But Wayne Richardson, chairman of the Newark Central Planning Board, issued a message to Family Dollar just before the board voted against the proposed project : keep the change.

"You have the right to appeal, or to sue. But this board won't be threatened," said Richardson, who also serves as an Essex County freeholder. "I don't see how this application is going anywhere. We're going to vote on this application tonight, and we're going to let the board decide what they're going to do. I don't need [the city] counsel's opinion. I've made up my opinion."

While residents say they see a need to redevelop the property, they said Family Dollar was not the right fit for the neighborhood.

"It's easy for people to say, 'Let's put this here, when they don't live here," said Brenda Riely, a security guard in the Newark school system, who lives on Broadway directly across from the site. "We live here by four churches and a synagogue, and we respect their worshiping areas. People have to come first. We know the problems that Newark is going through. We're just trying to keep this neighborhood good and safe, and we want you to know that we're watching out for each other."

Emily Manz, a businesswoman and neighborhood activist who also lives on Broadway directly across from the proposed site, questioned the transparency of the project, including the variances required by the proposed chain store.

"This would be a hardship for the communities that worship around us, not just on weekends but throughout the week when there are different programs and activities for neighborhood groups, as well as social services," said Manz, a member of Ahavas Sholom synagogue at 145 Broadway.

Destiny Arocho, 17, another Broadway resident, expressed a concern based on a well-known real estate adage: location, location, location.

"I have just one question: what's the point of having two Family Dollars within a few blocks of each other?" asked Arocho, who expressed concerns about a proposed 20-car parking lot at the site as she referred to a nearby Family Dollar store located at 62 Broadway, two blocks from the site. "It's just going to create a lot of mayhem and a lot of traffic in front of my house."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Newark

He Grew Up In James Baxter Terrace. Today, He Ushers in a Newark Condo Complex

July 19, 2018

NEWARK, NJ - Hassan Keith grew up in the city’s James Baxter Terrace public housing, and now he's come back to unveil a 24-unit condominium complex on Clinton Avenue he helped build. 

Keith teamed up with the NFL's Mike Adams to form the Mid-Atlantic Investment Alliance development company along with two others. Today, they cut the ribbon on the new Lofts at ...

Market Street Patrol Building May Be Named After Late Undersheriff

June 28, 2018

NEWARK, NJ — The death of Essex County Undersheriff Kevin Ryan on June 20 was a "devastating loss" for the department and for the county’s sheriff, Armando Fontoura.

“He was like a son to me. He was always the first one on the scene. He was always there to help. It’s just devastating. There is not much more I can say," Fontoura said in a ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey Opens Camp DeWitt Conference Center and Activity Building

July 2, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, N.J. – If you don’t know by now, Girl Scouts is much more than cookies, crafts, and summer camp.

In fact, the Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey say they should host your next professional business conference, special event, or any other big celebration in which you are looking to seriously impress.

Look no further than Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, the site of ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_8fd7ffdcf0e8abaaca95_lincolnpark

Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Lincoln Park, Newark

Lincoln Park Music Festival Sustainable Health ...

Carousel_image_705db43167d2ae62207f_arjc_2018moviesunderthestars_tap1200x800

Thu, August 16, 5:00 PM

Branch Brook Park, Newark

Movies Under the Stars

To Our Current and Future Representatives

July 17, 2018

To Our Current and Future Representatives - Wherever They May Be:

We can never forget we are a nation of immigrants. 

We cannot fall prey to fear, ignorance and anger when we  have been historically driven by freedom and justice. 

We must have the courage and will to fight hate, bigotry and prejudice. 

We must not wake up to what we hoped was a bad dream and ...

A Statewide Solution on Disposable Bags Aids the Fight Against Litter

June 29, 2018

The New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC) just released the results of a year-long visual litter study that shows that nearly 10 percent of all litter on our roadways and highways is in the form of plastic and paper bags.

There is no doubt that these bags are of significant and ongoing environmental concern, creating an even more difficult job for our clean communities volunteers across ...