What Should Go at Former G.I. Auto Yard?

Township officials working with owners to attract development.

The vacant site of the former G.I. Auto yard in Pine Brook has become the topic of much discussion in , from what to how whatever moves in

Up until last summer, home improvement chain Lowe's was working through the township approval process to place a 137,000-square foot store and garden center on the lot, but after it was announced Lowe's would be closing some existing stores.

Township Administrator Victor Canning reported to the Montville Township Committee Tuesday that he has recently had conversations with the property owners about attracting development to the area.

"We'll continue to meet and, obviously, I would encourage your thoughts," he told the committee.

Committeeman Scott Gallopo, alternate to the township's Economic Development Committee (EDC), said the EDC has been discussing ideas to fast-track the development of the parcel. He did not disclose what the ideas are but said more information would be forthcoming.

"There's an opportunity here to fast-track this and get in something that would be beneficial to Montville Township, both as an amenity, a place where you can go shopping, and as a ratable," he said.

Meanwhile residents are starting to come up with their own ideas for what they would like to see on the parcel, including Pine Brook resident Brent Jerolimic who to the area.

In this special edition of Visions for Vacancies, we want to know what you think. What would you like to see on the former G.I. Auto land?

Les Le Gear April 26, 2012 at 02:24 PM
There's already a petition to get Wegman's to build a supermarket there.
Jack Kroll April 27, 2012 at 02:22 AM
A Wegman's would be nice, because there isn't one around here, but being practical, there are plenty of supermarkets in the area. I think that a property with a Starbucks (none of those around Montville), a fresher fast food alternative (e.g. Chipotle Grill), and a family friendly chain restaurant would do well. Add a smaller retail store (e.g. 5-Below or the like) or two and you'll get some good traffic to the area. Look at the model they used on Route 3 in Clifton. Revamping the existing retail in that area and then adding new sets of business with a balance of food, stores and specialty items. And since you're asking - can't we get rid of the Pine Brook post office and add more retail there? What a waste of prime space.
Brad August 07, 2012 at 08:16 PM
It was a shame to see the junkyard get pushed out and no ratable to replace it. It's going to be a difficult (i.e. expensive) piece of property to develop for retail, which certainly weighed heavily on Lowe's decision to bail out. Why not bring the junkyard back? Perhaps a U-Pull-It type junkyard, which is sorely needed in this area. Managed properly, it can be an effective use for the property.
Les Le Gear August 13, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Do you really want a junkyard in Montville?
Brad August 17, 2012 at 01:46 PM
^^^ Yes, I do. Managed properly and legally within regulations, it can bring revenue into the town. As we saw with Lowe's, the site is going to be difficult and expensive to develop for "typical" retail - it'll probably sit vacant forever if that's held out for.


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