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Developers Explain Crossroads Plan - Size Of Ikea, Not Garden State Plaza

What do the Crossroads Developers LLC have in mind for Mahwah? A closer look at their plans.

For many, many years, the International Crossroads has been occupied by the hard-to-miss glass tower at its heart.

But the rest of that space has been open, incomplete. Current zoning calls for office space.  Crossroads Developers LLC want another option, and have approached the township with a proposal to do a rezoning overlay.

The Crossroads Town Center (CTC) overlay proposal has been mistaken by many to be a mall.  But as the local residents have made abundantly clear, that is not what anyone wants for Mahwah. A trio of ordinances have been proposed to create the CTC, and develop the area in part for retail space, which would be unlike any other shopping center in Bergen County, according to James E. Jaworski, Esq., who represents the developers.

Jaworski argues that the developers have a history of supporting Mahwah and its character. 

“Crossroads Developers LLC has quietly been a positive influence in Mahwah for years. They are a long-standing supporter of the Mahwah Schools Foundation. They've also supported the local Rotary Club in it's endeavors,” he said.

Jaworski said that the developer's intent is not to turn Mahwah into another Paramus, and shot down rumors that the proposed Crossroads development would be comparable to the Garden State Plaza Mall. 

“The Plaza has over 2.1 million square feet of Gross Leasable area. Our proposed rezoning has a hard cap of 600,000 square feet of Gross Leasable area.” 

In response to the concern that this will lead to further developments in the future,  Jaworski said, “not a square foot more then 600K of retail can ever be built on site under the Ordinances being considered.” 

Jaworski said the plan for the main 600,000 feet of space calls for a ‘downtown’ feeling, with smaller buildings similar to what you would find on a main street.  The space would also be highly pedestrian friendly. 

The ordinances that have been proposed will not allow this or any other developer to create a traditional mall.  When faced with comparisons to any of the malls that are prevalent throughout Paramus, Jaworski said, “the only Paramus site that's comparable is the IKEA site.  In total there's 550,000 square feet on that one.” 

The proposed ordinance also specifies just how the development would look. 

According to Jaworski, the site would include no ‘brick and mortar’ box warehouses, and no strip mall. “We will not in any way resemble the architecture on that (Ikea) site,” stated Jaworski. 

The ordinance specifies that the one or two ‘big box’ sites will also have to conform with the ‘main street’ aesthetics of the CTC. 

There will still be space for offices, and possibly another hotel, but Jaworski said another key aspect of the site is that space has been designated to be set aside for active recreation. That would include athletic fields and similar recreational spaces for public usage. 

Numerous meetings with the town planner and Town Council went into the proposal to create the three ordinances that make up the overall CTC plan. 

“This rezoning deals with a 100 acre vacant, level, long clean site,” Jaworski said. 

“There are no other such sites in all of Bergen, except for County parks. It's not encumbered by environmental constraints such as wetlands or flood plain. It's located at the crossroads of three major highways with no direct connections to residential homes.” 

Jaworski said the plans reflect a desire to bring in revenue to the town, but without changing its overall fundamental character. 

“Mahwah is very carefully and thoughtfully limiting exactly what can be constructed on this site, as well as what it will look like and how it will be sequenced,” Jaworski said.

robert March 31, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Since the CrossRoads Developers LLC are such a "Benevolent" ,group,would it be wrong to find out who they are ?
walter stanton March 31, 2011 at 12:31 PM
this is old thinking ,low paying jobs selling chinese made products ,its why we are in the mess we are in now.Please put some thought into this ,internet sales are rising big box is declining this is the trend .Look at the facts its all available online these projects create traffic problems and lower the standard of living for the surrounding area.Small business's close ,"mall rats" which is what the kids call themselves that hang around malls get into trouble ,all so some people can make a fortune and move o to the next project.We are in a social decline and if you vote for this mall you are driving one more nail in our coffin
Richard Levine April 04, 2011 at 11:24 AM
Why build this monstrosity in this area? Only the developers, and possibly some town government people will benefit. The people of the township will have to live with the traffic disaster, trash, and crime this will bring to town forever. The stores will probably put local business into bankrupcy, and probably go out of business themselves in this declining economy. Who then will be able to pay theexpected mall tax bonanza while in bankrupcy? This county already has enough places to shop. All the closed local stores will add a blight to the town that a mall will not cancel out. This is just a disaster for the people of Mahwah.
Tg April 07, 2011 at 12:44 AM
I don't care how a developer words it. Adding retail space to any kind of development makes it a mall. Enclosed or outdoors. Strip mall or not. I doubt it will generate the same shopper traffic that Garden State Plaza rolls out, because all the other nearby Paramus malls do not generate the same traffic (thankfully). But, there will still be traffic in some way and I predict that it will affect a little bit of my commute to Ramapo College. :o According to the plan map, there is a theater in there. I don't mind if it's a community theater (or even a movie theater), but it should have stopped right there. Anything beyond something community related doesn't register in the brain. As a half-time Paramus and Mahwah resident, I really don't like this development news. Bergen County has enough shopping as it is. (The headache Meadowlands project will eventually be completed one day so what's the point?) Mahwah, itself, has a good amount of stores already and the nice downtown main street of Ramsey makes up for a lack of a downtown. Just because Paramus does not have a downtown means that Mahwah should follow suit. :( People of Mahwah deserve to have the quality of life they want and not by the incentive of money.
DC May 22, 2011 at 02:41 PM
"No" to more stores in this neck of the woods. I would like to see a live music/theatre venue though. Next to the Sheraton it would be ideal. Not to mention the business it would bring to the local businesses. BTW, if you think that downtown Mahwah (around the post office) is hurting economically, wait until this gets built~

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