Passaic Street site scheduled for a facelift

Posted on September 10th, 2011 by Danielle McGugins Bennett in Business, Living

458 Passaic Street, an old car dealership, is designated for rehabilitation. Photo credit: Danielle Bennett

Reported on Sept. 9, 2011

Rehabilitation plans for 458 Passaic St. got a boost after the Hackensack, N.J., planning board approved the conversion and renovation of the site from a car dealership to a single or multi-use retail space.

The board recognized at a June 8 hearing that the 25,000-square-foot property needed to be renovated. The Passaic Street site was a Saab dealership that has been closed for about 10 years. Since Hackensack Ventures purchased the property for $2 million in 2008, the company has submitted three different applications to redevelop the property.

Charles Sarlo, who represents Hackensack Ventures, does not anticipate that there will be any opposition to the redevelopment of the property. “I don’t think so, I mean, you never know. You can never be certain about anything.” No one objected to the rehabilitation at the June 8 hearing.

Once the board’s resolution is published in the newspaper, individuals or groups have 45 days to appeal the resolution. If the resolution is not appealed, Evan Architects will submit updated designs to the city’s construction department for approval.

Developer Kami Rehanian of Hackensack Ventures, is actively marketing to retailers and supermarket vendors, according to Sarlo.

Peter Munshi, 68, manager of Jay Liquors and Fine Wines, which is directly across the street from 458 Passaic St., believes a residential property would be better than a commercial property at the site. “All kinds of businesses are here.” Munshi would support a supermarket, however.

Other businesses in the area, overall, put their support behind rehabilitating the property for retail use. Pete Parascand, 50, owner of Green Olive Restaurant, believes it would be a benefit to everybody and that his business would get new customers. Laura Caruso, manager of Dazzles Hair and Nails agrees. “It would be nice to see something over there,” said Caruso.

Rose DiPardo owns Tony’s Custom Tailor. She has been in business for 41 years. She supports the rehabilitation of the 458 property, which she calls, “kind of a sore eye,” since it has been vacant.

Some residents who live behind the property have varying opinions about the 458 rehabilitation project. Ryan Walsh, 30, who has lived at his home for a year has no concerns. Walsh’s neighbor, Francisco Valenzuela, 29, and his sister-in-law, Grace, 26, don’t feel the same way. Their family has lived in their home for more than 10 years. They mention parking, pollution and noise as some of their concerns.  “I don’t like to see a parking lot. I don’t like the way it is now. A marketplace would be okay,” said Valenzuela.

Stephen G.Herold is a real estate appraiser whose family business, Herold Appraisal Group, faces the vacant 458 property. He fully supports a change to the site. “Any development from a vacant building will be good […] better than a shell of a building.”

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