RANDOLPH, NJ - What’s new in Randolph?  That was the topic of discussion for the guest speaker, Mayor Jim Loveys, at the first Chamber of Commerce meeting of 2014. The new mayor addressed local business leaders at the lunch on Thursday at La Strada Restaurant in Randolph.

Loveys spoke about the importance of a vibrant and healthy business community, and how Randolph is fortunate to have businesses who are involved and care about their town. He let everyone know that the mayor's office and the Township Council have an open-door policy, stating, “We welcome your input. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions or information that you think would be beneficial to our township.” 

The mayor continued to discuss some of the transformations going on in the township’s leadership, including the retirement of the township chief financial officer and township manager, as well as some of the upcoming developments in town. Both of these topics have been discussed in recent TAP articles. He touched upon the following:

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1.      The project to connect West Hanover to Old Brookside will create a new signaled intersection.

2.      The planned widening of Sussex, and adding sidewalks near Heritage Bank

3.      Improvements on Sussex at the Calais and Dover Chester intersections

Loveys explained that the above projects should all start mid to late summer.  He stated “Getting the work completed on the Hanover intersection should help to relieve some of the traffic there.  It should also trigger the development of Marks Corner, as the owner has been waiting for the road changes and improvements before going out to lease.”

It was also explained that the Performance Ford dealership is proposing to move across the street into the old Mitsubishi site on the corner of Route 10 East and Canfield.  The Performance dealership family then hopes to move a Mazda dealership into the current Ford space on Route 10 West.

Loveys discussed how the township wants to promote re-development of the K-Mart plaza. The lease is up soon, and the township is attempting to meet with owners to discuss and encourage upgrades and possible changes.  

The last and possibly most discussed topic was the Grecco development where the Trader Joe’s was potentially going to be built.  The new leadership of Trader Joe’s decided to re-focus their development out of the Northeast, and concentrate on Florida and the Mid West.  Because of this change in philosophy, they subsequently cancelled Northeast expansion plans that had included Randolph.

Chamber president Lou Nisivoccia introduced and welcomed the new members who recently joined the Randolph Area chapter.  They include Lisa Shaw from ReMax House Values, Tim Ziakas from RBI’s Baseball and Softball Facility, and Julie DeLorenzo of Delorenzo Contracting and Home Improvements.

The next two Chamber luncheons are on Thursday Feb. 20, and Thursday March 20, both at 11:45 a.m.  Typical meetings run about one-and-one-half hours. Members ($20) and non members ($30) are welcome at any meeting.  Anyone who has not attended a meeting is invited to come see what the chamber has to offer.