Exactly one year ago this week, Bloomfield’s planning board approved the Glenwood Village redevelopment project.
The plan is to build a so-called “transit village” across the street from the Lackawanna train station. On 3.3 acres of municipal land, a complex is slated to be built comprising three five-story residential buildings, 50,000 square feet of retail space and 10,000 square feet of restaurant space. Included in the plan is a 439-space public parking garage.
Speaking to Patch this week, neighborhood business owners said that construction can’t begin fast enough for them. Already struggling to stay afloat in the sluggish economy, some merchants say the unsightly construction zone and lack of foot traffic in the neighborhood has significantly hurt their business. Even more frustrating, they say, is the lack of progress on the project; one year after the planning board’s approval, the site remains an empty expanse of rubble.
Bloomfield officials say it’s not their fault. Though they have worked for years to revamp the downtown business district, prior efforts were stalled by eminent domain-related lawsuits and other setbacks, which have continued into 2012.
In the meantime, local merchants say they hope they can stay in business long enough to see the project come to fruition.
See what local residents and business owners have to say about the township's plans and progress in this Patch 3-minute video.