Scotch Plains downtown redevelopment moves forward

SCOTCH PLANS – Scotch Plains is in phase one of tier one of its downtown redevelopment plan and has released its request for qualifications and request for proposals for the project.

In over 24 years, small business owner and Scotch Plains resident Alex Desai said he has seen businesses in his town come and go more often in recent years.

“The town just seems to be dying year after year and if something isn’t done, the town is pretty much gonna end up dying,” Desai said.

Resident Humberto Gomez said the town is diverse and may flourish with this redevelopment.

“Spanish, American, everybody over here. I like it because it’s good for everybody,” Gomez said.

The town is now seeking qualifications and proposals from developers for over eight acres of property being purchased. Individuals from around town said that taxes are already high as it is, and with the redevelopment, they might only go up from here.

This next phase of the seven-phase, three-tier project includes survey and topographic data, redeveloper qualifications, along with the project’s standards and objectives.

Wallis Stationary Owner Alex Desai said, for now, he remains optimistic.

“If the business goes up, then it’s kind of a wash but at least you’re sustaining yourself, you’re able to survive and live in this town. I mean, that’s what you pay to live in towns like this,” Desai said. “If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work; at least we have to try and do something because what we’re doing now is not working.”

The project also is slated to be funded partly by selling public properties. It includes moving its municipal building, growing its police force, and adding more residential spaces near transit options.