UNION, NJ – Long-awaited demolition on the Garden State Motel site has began and construction for the new hotel and other projects is expected to begin soon.

In October 2018 the Union Planning Board unanimously recommended to the Township Committee that the area, including the Garden State Motel, Chuck E. Cheese and an abandoned gas station, be designated an “area in need of redevelopoment.”

The current site includes three lots on the south side of Route 22 East: an abandoned Exxon station; a small office building; and the largest lot which contains the Garden State Motel and Chuck E. Cheese buildings.  In addition to Route 22, the properties border Vauxhall Road and Sayre Road.

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“On behalf of the Mayor, the Township Committee, and all residents of the Township of Union, we are beyond thrilled to see the completion of the demolition of the Garden State Motel,” said Union Business Administrator Don Travisano.  “The Route 22 corridor of today is a vibrant, booming, multi-cultural and multi-socioeconomic hub and the motel became synonymous with a latter day economically depressed era. The Township Committee has worked hard to bring this day to fruition and now that the public nuisance has been removed, in its place will rise a spectacular development project that will foster sustainable jobs, long term economic stability and beautification of the Gateway."

During the October 2018 Planning Board meeting, Kendra Lelie of Clarke Canton Hintz said her analysis of the site also considered the “unwholesome” living conditions, including analyzing police reports from the Garden State Motel from 2015-2017.  She said there were 244 arrests associated with the property.  “There’s about 30 times more arrests at the Garden State Motel than at a similar sized property with a similar size number of rooms.  That gives evidence that there’s a criminal element coming from here more so than what we’re dealing with in other motels.”