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Joe Forgione, the developer of the Clarus Maplewood was asked several times during 2015 for his thoughts on the types of commerical tenants he would seek for the 9500 square feet of retail space. He refused to engage in a discussion.
In early 2016 he offered some insights, and which led to much chatter among residents. In April 2016 nearly sixty Village merchants signed a letter asking Joe to meet with them and discuss which retail tenant choices might best compliment the Village. Mr. Forgione decline to attend–sending that message via the Mayor and never addressing the request directly.
The Village Alliance and the Mayor held an early morning meeting at the Woodland in response to the letter. Multiple requests to move the meeting to a convenient evening time were denied. The Essex News Daily website provide coverage of the event.
During that meeting the Mayor repeatedly insisted that we (he, the Township Committee, and merchants) had no ability to influence the choice of tenants at Clarus Maplewood “because the building has been sold”. It seemed the Township had chosen to not influence tenant choice while sale negotiations were taking place in 2015.
Interesting enough, by September 2016 the Mayor was boasting that he had worked over a year to broker a deal for a farm-to-table restaurant…one that would consume approximately 40% of the available space.
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This site chronicles the five year public process leading to the construction of Clarus Maplewood. We recently re-arranged it to provide easier access chronologically and by topic area. Check out the changes here.