Date: Fri 26-Jan-1996

Date: Fri 26-Jan-1996

Publication: Bee

Author: ANDYG

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Hearing On Shopping Center Redevelopment Set January 30


Residents at a January 30 public hearing will have an opportunity to air their

views on a proposal to renovate and expand Newtown Shopping Center on Queen

Street, including the construction of a Big Y supermarket.

The Borough Zoning Commission hearing is scheduled for 7:30 pm at Town Hall


On January 4, Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) members endorsed Joseph

Kasper's proposal for the commercial redevelopment of the shopping center. The

shopping center, which once was the hub of the town's central business

district, has slipped toward the periphery of the town's commercial life in

recent years as its prime tenants either closed for business or relocated.

These tenants included the A&P Supermarket, Newtown Hardware, and the Drug


Mr Kasper, head of The Kasper Group, is seeking a special exception to the

borough zoning regulations and a site plan approval for his Newtown Shopping

Center redevlopment proposal.

The proposal involves demolishing the 20,000-square-foot section of the

shopping center's main building that lies to the south of the former A&P. The

plan also involves adding on 25,500 square feet of retail space for 10 new

stores to the north of the former A&P.

A 57,000-square-foot Big Y supermarket, similar to the one on Route 111 in

Monroe, would be built on the western edge of the site. Big Y Foods bills such

a facility as a "World Class Market." The supermarkets which Big Y operates

are similar to Super Stop & Shop supermarkets.

If all proposed work is completed, it would result in more than 60,000 square

feet of new store space in the shopping center, bringing the total commercial

area there up to almost 115,000 square feet.

Mr Kasper plans to buy the Wiehl property on Church Hill Road, the site of the

former Oberg's Texaco Service Station. The Wiehl property would provide an

additional access point to the shopping center.

Tenants who are now in the section of the shopping center proposed for

demolition would move to other sections of the facility, according to Mr


On January 4, Mr Kasper told P&Z members that through the redevelopment of

Newtown Shopping Center he wants to create a downtown area of which both he

and Newtown can be proud.

A key to increased development and redevlopment in the borough is the

installation of municipal sanitary sewers. Sewer system construction is

expected to be complete by the last quarter of 1997.

To visually and spatially separate the rear yards of some properties on the

east side of Main Street from the proposed supermarket, Mr Kasper has

purchased a landlocked 1.4 acres from Joseph and Charlotte Chase for $95,000.

Mr Kasper has donated that parcel to the Borough of Newtown Land Trust, Inc, a

non-profit land conservation group which will preserve the land as open space

in perpetuity.

Mr Kasper has said that he will address traffic-related issues that were

raised at the January 4 P&Z meeting when he presents his redevelopment

proposal to the State Traffic Commission for its review. Traffic concerns

focused on the access point for the shopping located near the former Oberg's

gas station on Church Hill Road.

P&Z members endorsed the shopping center expansion without opposition. The P&Z

functions as the borough's planning commission and makes recommendations to

the Borough Zoning Commission on development proposals.