TRENTON, N.J. – Dozens of acres of vacant corporate campuses in Montvale and other municipalities could be destined for court-mandated, high-density housing. At the former Sony Electronics corporate campus in Park Ridge and Montvale, office buildings are being replaced by 615 units, including more than 100 designated for affordable housing.
Assemblyman Robert Auth said he would prefer to see these centers revived as dynamic employment hubs providing income opportunities for hundreds of Bergen and Passaic County families.
This week, Auth welcomed Japanese business and government officials for a tour of local towns and vacant corporate space.
“The economy in Japan is red hot and it would be great to attract some of the business to New Jersey,” said Auth (R-Bergen). “This area has much to offer – a talented and proven workforce, convenient access to airports, highways, trains and ports, and an ideal location that is close to New York, but without the problems.”
Auth said new business would bring economic expansion to the region and prevent towns from being forced to over-build to satisfy arbitrary obligations.
“This is a practical and expedient way to put the brakes on court-imposed housing,” Auth said. “Unchecked development jeopardizes the quality of life in communities. Seeking a relief through the court system is wiping out towns’ resources and takes too long. Let capitalism and the market be the arbiters, not judges, lawyers and the Fair Share Housing Corporation.”
Auth and municipal officials were joined Monday by Kanji Yamanouchi, Japan’s ambassador and consul general in New York, and Sharp Electronics chairman Tetsuji Kawamura, among others. They toured vacant grounds slated for residential construction and visited Sharp’s corporate headquarters.
“Filling vacant corporate campuses with Japanese firms that could move right in and employ 200 to 300 people,” Auth noted, “is a better alternative to swamping towns and school systems with an over-flow of new residents.”