First Starbucks…now this.
The US Gypsum plant in Clark, that closed down a few years ago when the floor fell out of construction, is being quickly torn down in favor of this:
I am a bit conflicted about this. Why?
I kind of wanted a cart bridge over Raritan Road and another 9 holes for Hyatt Hills (or at least six holes and a smaller driving range to make a full 18 holes). The US Gypsum site won’t be manufacturing again in our lifetimes. Sure Hyatt Hills is a money sink. However expanding it to 18 holes would boost its appeal. And with Galloping Hill prices up and Oak Ridge gone (one of the dumbest Freeholder decisions ever), golf options are shrinking for a regular joe. Then again, disposable income is shrinking for regular joes.
But hey, the ratables for a retail plaza are nothing to sneeze at. It is a no-brainer for Clark to want this.
However, I am not a Whole Foods fan. I would have rather had a Wegmans if we were going to go that route. (A Wegmans would have made the ShopRite owners soil themselves more than they are with Whole Foods.) The ShopRite folks are suing anyway.
Yes, I do think that a lot of organic and natural and whatever is more about maximum wallet extraction than anything else. Couple that with the scads of self-righteous and fad-loving natural food consumers and it’s a mix that I don’t personally find super-appealing. But I am clearly in the minority on this one. That’s fine.
What will this do for traffic? It will make Raritan Road a little hairier…but it is a little hairy now. At least it will get rid of the pothole magnet train tracks by Rite Aid.
The pluses: Nice to have more reasons not to go to the Route 22 corridor. Less chain-link fence for visitors to look at when they come up from the Parkway. It’s not a Wal-Mart (which we don’t necessarily dislike or consider eeeeevil – but the Union and Linden Wal-Marts are just a god-awful mix of packed and picked-over.)
The minuses: The traffic down Central Ave from Westfield will be massive going to Whole Foods. My dream of an 18 hole Hyatt Hills course has the same fate as the canals at the Riverfront project. It will take another few more minutes to get to ShopRite and Target. We coulda had a Wegmans.