EDC Minutes 1-19-11 Print E-mail

MONTVILLE TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

MINUTES OF JANUARY 19, 2011

8:00AM

 

ROLL CALL

Ron Cain, Jr.                                        Margaret Miller – Sanders

Everett Vreeland                                   Deane Driscoll 

Ron Soussa (AE)                                  Kevin Seidel, Alt. #2 (AE)

Jennifer Horowitz                                  Arnold Schancupp – alt #1 (AE)

Alexander Kachmar (AE)                                                                                            

Liaisons:

Township Committee: Jim Sandham; Deb Nielson (alt) 

Planning Board Liaison:  Tony Speciale

Township Official:  Meghan Hunscher, PP - Principal Planner

REORGANIZATION

Margaret Miller-Sanders  was appointed temporary chair.  Ron Cain was re-appointed as chairman and Deane Driscoll was reappointed as Vice Chairman was elected.

The committee agreed that the meeting dates would continue to be the third Wednesday of the month at 8 a.m. and the meeting place will be the municipal conference room.

OLD BUSINESS

Board of Adjustment – Deane Driscoll discussed applications before the board, in particular Lake Valhalla Club has parking problems that the applicant and board will address.

Planning Board – Tony Speciale discussed approval of Pine Brook Plaza façade improvements and a request for rezoning from Fogelson’s for property on Route 202 adjacent to 287 from residential to commercial or mixed use.

Update on retail consultant.  Subcommittee reported that teleconference occurred and the consultants agreed to come to Montville to do a site survey in February.  The fee quoted as a base price for preliminary analysis was $60,000 to $100,000 which is significantly more than the committee had in mind.

Deane Driscoll spoke to developers and property owners who may be interested in meeting with the EDC.  These individuals have suggested a “how to” session to educate the EDC on best ways to market the Township.  Deane will send them a copy of the vacancy list.

Other speakers Deane suggested are Stan Omland of Omland Associates who also serves on Hanover’s EDC, Glen Buie of First Industrial, and Maggie Peters of the County’s EDC.

NEW BUSINESS

Mayor Sandham discussed his annual address that was made to the Township Committee in January.  He included the importance of utilizing the resources of the EDC.  The mayor also discussed the proposed relocation of Bayer to a consolidated campus.  He indicated that based on his experience business decisions such as these are in flux and could change.  He has arranged a meeting with Bayer to include himself, Frank Bastone – Township Administrator, Debbie Nielson – Township Committeewoman, and possibly Meghan Hunscher - Principal Planner, and a member of the EDC.  The final list of attendees will be determined at a later date.  Ms. Hunscher will be preparing a fact sheet with the tax assessment and revenue of the property, number of employees, and square footage of building.  Mr. Driscoll indicated that the property was originally a swim club and was vacant for many years.  Further suggestions included hosting a realtor open house at the property to discuss potential for future tenancy.

Ms. Hunscher asked whether Montville had ever had a slogan.  There may have been one in the 80s or 90s “where living is better,” but it has since gone out of use.   Mr. Driscoll suggested that the Township have a slogan campaign in the schools and Township-wide, as was done with the Township emblem, to select a new slogan.

Mr. Soussa suggested to Ms. Hunscher that she make copies for hand-outs of the New York Times article that featured the Township, as well as the Money Magazine article that listed the Township as one of the “Best Places to Live.”  He also suggested purchasing extra copies of the magazine.Mr. Soussa also suggested that the committee visit real estate websites including loopnet and costar to consider marketing the Township.

The Committee revisited the idea of a realtor event and suggested that the fall, around October, would be an ideal time. A subcommittee will be formed. Some suggestions for venue included First Industrial properties, which currently has vacant space.  Mr. Seidel also offered space at the Chelsea. 

Ms. Hunscher inquired as to status of comparison with other EDCs.  Alex is preparing that analysis.  Ms. Hunscher suggested that the Chamber of Commerce and Township Committee reach out to existing businesses

Mr. Driscoll and Ms. Miller-Sanders mentioned the article about Seabreeze in the Montville Messenger.   She also indicated that Gary Lewis of the Planning Board spoke at a recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon and presented the master plan.  Ms. Hunscher suggested that the EDC and Planning Board collaborate to come up with target areas, which are highlighted in the master plan, for development to market to realtors and prospective businesses. 

Ms. Horowitz suggested investigating sponsoring a farmers market.  Nearby communities including Boonton, Parsippany, Hanover, and Caldwell each have farmers markets.  Potential venues include the municipal building parking lot and athletic fields. 

Ms. Horowitz asked Ms. Hunscher about tenants interested in the pad side adjacent to the approved Lowes.  Ms. Horowitz suggested a grocery store such as Trader Joes or Wegmans.  Ms. Hunscher indicated that her discussions with the developer revealed that many chains are not expanding at the moment and that the Township’s desire for certain traffic patterns has dissuaded grocery stores from locating at the site.

Ms. Hunscher suggested that the committee evaluate wayfinding signage to help guide visitors to various key destination points, including town hall.  Ms. Miller-Sanders suggested signage for business districts, including Pine Brook, Montville and Towaco.  In particular, it is difficult to locate the strip retail center on Stiles Lane and directional signage could improve patronage of the retail stores.  Ms. Miller-Sanders also suggests improving the appearance of the traffic island. 

Minutes of the December 15, 2010 meeting were adopted. Eligible:  Ron Cain, Margaret Miller-Sanders, Everett Vreeland, Kevin Seidel, Alt. #2, Deane Driscall, Alexander Kachmar.  On motion made by Deane Driscoll seconded by Everett Vreeland the minutes were unanimously adopted.

           

Meeting was adjourned unanimously at 9:30 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Meghan Hunscher

 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 April 2011 )
 
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