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Mystery Company Seeks Roxbury OK for Global HQ

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47 Dell Ave., Kenvil Credits: Google Maps
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ROXBURY, NJ – A company - one that doesn’t want to tell Roxbury its name just yet - is hoping to build on Dell Avenue its “international headquarters” and employ up to 100 people in “highly paid” positions, according to letters received by the township.

The mystery company hopes to accomplish this project on a 30-acre parcel at 47 Dell Ave. owned by Ronald Petillo/Sylway Properties.

The company last week wrote to the Roxbury Mayor and Council to explain its situation. It did so without using a company letterhead and it did not sign its name to the letter.

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“First we would like to explain the reasons for our not appearing in person and not disclosing, at this time, the name of our company,” said the company. It said it needed to remain anonymous because “in this world of easy access to information, an appearance in person or disclosure of our name could harm the company in our dealings with competitors, existing landlords, and other communities in which we have targeted properties for our relocation.”

However, the company assured Roxbury officials that “at the appropriate time,” it would reveal its identity. “Should a private (not in writing) disclosure be a condition of any approval by Roxbury, we would be happy to comply with such a request,” said the letter.

The company said it was privately held and “in the business of moving high value commodities for aerospace companies and high-rise building facades” and had annual sales “significantly in excess of $100 million.”

It said it has facilities throughout the United States and the world and has been searching for several years for the ideal place to build a new, 100,000-square foot international headquarters. It said Petillo’s land in Kenvil seems perfect due to its proximity to the New York metropolitan area, particularly Port Newark.

“It is anticipated that we will be employing 80-100 people at the facility,” wrote the company. “Many of the jobs would constitute “highly-paid” positions.”

The company said it expects site plan approval and construction of the headquarters to take two years, but it said it needed a favor from the town right away: permission to store some materials outdoors. And it warned that resistance by the township might make it look elsewhere to settle.

“As an initial step in this project, we immediately require the use of additional outdoor storage so as to avoid the necessity of making commitments elsewhere which could jeopardize the Roxbury project,” said the letter.

In a January letter to the township, Petillo’s lawyer, Lawrence Berger of Morristown, said the company wants to use about five acres of the Petillo property for the outdoor storage for about two years while its building is erected. He said Petillo is “prepared to topsoil and fence the portion of his property fronting on Dell Avenue to increase the visual acceptability of the storage to conform this additional area with Mr. Petillo’s previous developments on Dell Avenue.”

Roxbury Planning Board Attorney Thomas Germinario weighed-in on the request in January, saying the outdoor storage is not permitted by the site’s zoning. “Nor does this use come within the scope of the pre-existing outdoor storage conducted on this site by the prior owner, Kenvil Newcrete,” wrote Germinario.

He said Petillo would need either a zoning variance or a temporary use permit from the Mayor and Council.

Roxbury Township Manager Christopher Raths and Roxbury Councilman Fred Hall on Wednesday said the matter should be reviewed by the township Planning Board Master Plan Committee, not the Mayor and Council.

“It’s not that we’re saying no,” said Hall. “I’m very picky about that kind of stuff … It’s got to go to the right boards. Council shouldn’t be over-riding and superseding. The council has the authority to grant this, but we want to hear from the people … that have the expertise in dealing with this.”

Raths said the proposal, while sounding like it would be a good thing for Roxbury, “could be one of those that needs to sit in the oven for another hour or so.”

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