Clifton Safe Storage LLC is seeking zoning approval to demolish the Ploch Garden Center in Clifton, New Jersey, and build a five-story self-storage facility in its place. The zoning board discussed the proposal for the 1.85 acre property at 1172 Broad St. during its meeting on Wednesday. The facility would be managed by self-service storage real estate investment firm CubeSmart and branded under its name, according to the source.
The site is located at the intersection of Allwood Road, Broad Street, Garden State Parkway, and New Jersey Route 3. Plans call for razing the one-story garden store and adjacent greenhouse, and then building 175,000 square feet of storage. The applicant is seeking permission to build two floors more than permitted as well as a reduction in parking spaces from 88 to 19, eight of which will be for loading and unloading, the source reported. The proposed number of parking spaces would be sufficient for the facility, according to Stonefield Engineering & Design LLC, the project’s engineering company.
Developer Jonathan Vogel said the area needed more storage space and the garden center was well suited for use. “People want safe, clean, well-lit and secure 24-hour Class A storage,” he said.
A local business owner supports the landowner’s right to sell it, but wondered if there is a need for more storage in the area. “From memory I can think of five nearby,” said Walter Hryckowian of Clifton Discount Vacuum, which is in the adjacent Broad Street Center mall.
Joe and Linda Spirko opened a fruit stand on the property in 1959. Today it includes a tropical greenhouse, gardening and gift store, shrub yard, and annuals and perennials. The business is currently operated by their son, Michael Spirko.
Another buyer attempted to buy the site in 2014 and build a QuickChek gas station and convenience store. The plan was refused because the city did not allow more than one commercial use on the property. The decision was challenged, but a superior court judge upheld the decision in 2016. The buyer then withdrew from the case.
The Spirkos sold another business, Strawberry Blossom Home & Garden Center on Route 23 from New Jersey to Wayne, NJ, five years ago. It has been replaced by a QuickChek store and gas station, the source reported.
North Jersey, Ploch Garden Center in Clifton could be replaced with a self-storage facility