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Four Vacancies, Four Opportunites. What Should Go Here?

With ample parking in the back, these places should be prime real estate

Four store fronts remain vacant on Lower Main Street directly across from the .

The Cleaners closed; CareMinders moved two blocks up the street; Matawan Barbeque closed; and no sign is left to depict what the fourth shop used to be.

Lack of parking is a common complaint for Main Street business owners, but behind these shops there is a parking lot with over twenty spaces.

Recently, Patch users tackled the issue of on Main Street. The store recently , however several people suggested a Panera Bread, a tax center and a hobby store.

What do you think? What would do well across the street from the train station and in close proximity to both Route 34 and Route 35?

Nick J March 11, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Frank where does the money come from to buy all the property over looking the scenic salt marsh vista? There more then 20 homes that boarder the creek, how do these home and businesses owners fair through this process? I firmly believe the towns and developers have and are still selling a bill of goods to the large majority of the public regarding tax revenue increasing, Storefronts in town and at the station area are empty now, what is going to make a change?
Barzillai March 11, 2012 at 06:18 AM
I like Frank's idea about bringing the water vistas into the planning. If you stand on the bridge across from Lake Matawan and next to Quick Chek, you can see an interesting waterway that is pretty much obscured from view. Matawan Creek is not visible from Main Street. It's almost as if the Borough has cast the creek out from its midst. I agree Frank, we need vistas on the creek. Behind those shops would be a fine start. Nick is jumping the gun a bit in worrying about those with land interests. He's obviously got such interests or knows people who do. That's fine, but he shouldn't stifle discussion of ideas. Several negative posts, Nick. Brainstorming is a valid activity. The biggest complaint I hear about Matawan is the utter intransigence of interested parties in any particular negotiation towards progress in the borough. Discussions should always offer a way forward.
Nick J March 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Barzilli, just a short comment, my interest are in whats best for the town and it's residents ALL of theme not just the folks living in MARC WOODS... As the town moves forward with another residential projects like the C-Town Project with 39 unit how many more children will that add to the school system 80? how will this impact ALL of our taxes? I agree brainstorming and talk is needed to move things along, however the bottom line as I see it K. Hovainian would rather build more apartments and condos, low income housing on these properties due to two facts residential construction is more cost effective per sqr foot then commercial property, and housing is always easier to sell or lease. Please keep in mind developers have no stake in long term goals of our town just the companies profit at the end of the day.
Tom Lucas March 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
There are a lot of mixed use projects popping up in other towns (Robbinsville comes to mind). It may be good to put up something that has retail on the bottom floor (restaurants/shops/bar) and condos above. You'd take advantage of the views if it was a few stories tall and the convenience of walking to the train may make it a desirable spot for singles/young couples working in NY. Work would need to be done on the crosswalks and intersections around that spot and the train station, otherwise it is a dangerous place to walk.
Jim Tobias March 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I love the comments about using our waterfront better. Look at Keyport -- incredible what they've done to revitalize their town by improving their waterfront. Instead we've privatized almost every square inch of lakefront, and the few public or undeveloped parcels are out of sight and hard to reach. Consider how much more use Matawan's lakefront park would get if it were on the downtown side of the lake. Imagine if Lefferts came a few more blocks downstream and met Lake Matawan at a single dam, with recreational uses and beautiful views just as you entered town. Imagine cross-town strolls from lake to lake -- raising the value of all the downtown property. I wish our public life were not such a snake pit of petty jealousy and misplaced partisanship -- we could actually accomplish something.

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