A proposal before the city’s planning board intends to resurrect a troublesome liquor store on Totowa Avenue between Wayne and Sherman Avenues.
The developer, whose identity is cloaked behind 372 Totowa Avenue, LLC, intends to construct a three-story building with a liquor store and laundromat on the first floor and eight apartments on the second and third floors, according to planning board documents.
The developer is building on the site — 366-374 Totowa Avenue — that was once occupied by a liquor store and a laundromat both of which burned in a fire in April 2014. The developer intends to demolish a boarded-up two-family home that was partially destroyed in a fire in July 2014 when two vehicles collided and a vehicle crashed into the building.
Since the liquor store disappeared from the area residents have experienced improved quality-of-life in the Totowa section, said Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman, 2nd Ward councilman.
“This area became nicer as soon as that liquor store was shut down,” said the councilman. “Now the crime is going to come back again.”
Before the establishment was burned, troublemakers hung about late into the night near the liquor store seeking the first opportunity to vandalize or spill into the roadway to block motorist traveling on Totowa Avenue.
Akhtaruzzaman said he received more than 50 complaints from area residents when the establishment was in operation.
“There shouldn’t be a liquor store there,” said Akhtaruzzaman. “We have enough liquor stores in Paterson.”
Liquor stores have been a perennial problem in the city. The city council has passed a business curfew ordinance that has forced liquor establishments in trouble spots to close at midnight. However, Totowa Avenue falls outside of the business curfew zone.
The city’s planning board will consider whether to allow the developer to construct the liquor store during its meeting on Wednesday, October 7th, 2015 at 7 p.m. in City Hall.