WAYNE, NJ –Mayor Chris Vergano read off a list of economic successes for the Township of Wayne while he hosted leaders of the local business community. The event was to show the Town’s appreciation for the services Wayne's business owners provide to the residents and to recognize their part in Wayne’s economic revitalization. It was held in a ballroom at the Preakness Hills Country Club.
Vergano started by reading a portion of a credit overview for the Township of Wayne from Moodys Investors Services, dated October 18, 2019.
“Wayne Township’s credit position is excellent. It’s Aaa rating is significantly higher than the median rating of Aa3 of US Cities. The credit factors include a robust financial position, a very strong wealth and income profile, and a substantial tax base.” This news also received a round of applause from the audience.
“I thought I would take a few moments and talk about what’s going on in Wayne Township and that’s the re-development of Wayne,” said Vergano
He then read off a current list of development/revitalization projects:
- Lightbridge Academy – Under construction
- Brightview Senior Community – Under construction
- The Wayne Hills Mall which has been demolished and will re-develop into approximately 100,000 square feet of new retail stores including a new Shoprite. Construction will start in the Spring.
- Hilton 2 Suites Hotel – Under construction
- Cinemark Theatre – Under construction will open soon
- PF Changs – Opened in January 2019
- Buffalo Wild Wings – Opened in September 2019
- Whole Foods – Planned opening is Christmas 2020
- Primrose Childcare Center – Under construction – will open soon
- Electronics Expo – under construction
- Starbucks Drive through on Route 23 – opening soon
- New Jersey Energy Corporation – Gas station will include new 711 – received planning board approval.
- Bank of America – received planning board approval
- Learning Express – under construction
- Yardhouse Restaurant – Opening spring 2020
- The Parke – A new strip mall that will include a child care center, two restaurants “and an unnamed food store whose name rhymes with ‘Fader Moes’. Its top, top secret. Don’t tell anyone,” Vergano joked. – Under construction
- Mane USA - 74,000 square foot addition to an existing 60,000 square foot manufacturing center – in the permitting process
- Preakness Shopping Center revitalization to 95,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space- on planning board agenda for Nov 11
- Wayne Town Center new restaurants include Shake Shack Cava and Chic-Fil-A
“We’re very encouraged by the revitalization that is taking place,” said Vergano with obvious pride.
The Mayor then gave out two Corporate Good Citizen Awards at the breakfast event describing how each has given back to the community in service and donations.
The first went to Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, and the second award went to the Outback Steakhouse.
“We are truly blessed to be in this community and grow up here as life-time residents,” said Ken Vander May, who spoke on behalf of his family. “We have served a vast majority of your families,” he said, pointing out into the audience, “and we truly appreciate that trust you place in us.”
Giving out the second award, Vergano described how the Outback steakhouse had raised and donated over $31,000 various sports, cheer and band programs for both public High Schools.
“Thank you for the recognition,” said Johnson. “We really work hard to give back to the community. Coming from Wayne, myself, I realized just how hard it is for some of these programs to get the money they need.”
The keynote address was given by New Jersey 40th District Senator Kristin Corrado, who spoke briefly: “A strong town needs strong businesses, both large and small. Businesses are the backbone of our economy. Here in this room, you are the job creators. You are the economic engines that reduces unemployment and creates prosperity. Small businesses are integral to the states economic health, identity and well-being. They must be celebrated and supported.”
Owners of over fifty different Wayne-based businesses were present at the event, as well as representatives of Passaic County including Freeholder Deputy Director Sandi Lazarra and Freeholder Clerk Louis Imhof. New Jersey 40th District assemblymen Christopher DePhillips and Kevin Rooney also attended, and Wayne Town Council members, Joe Scuralli, Aileen Rivera, Jon Ettman and Council President Franco Mazzei were there as well.