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Cliffside Park Works Around Massive Crane

A pedestian walks in front of DonnaGio's Pizzeria.
A pedestian walks in front of DonnaGio's Pizzeria. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
Tai Mun continues to work at his 18-year-old business, Sushi Palace, on Anderson Avenue.
Tai Mun continues to work at his 18-year-old business, Sushi Palace, on Anderson Avenue. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule
The crane at the Towne Centre construction site.
The crane at the Towne Centre construction site. Photo Credit: Melissa Heule

CLIFFSIDE PARK, NJ -- A 300-ton crane being used to build a shopping mall on Cliffside Park's main drag isn't just looming over the buildings below -- merchants say it's casting a shadow on their businesses.

Most residents told Daily Voice that they hardly notice the Town Centre rig anymore -- although it did make headlines recently when it collapsed part of Anderson Avenue, rupturing a water main that unleashed a flood through the streets, damaging homes and businesses.

Crews have poured concrete and erected walls for the foundation, with steel frames going up on the south side of the soon-to-be 13-story complex, which officials said will feature 277 apartments and 50,000 square feet of retail space.

As winter nears, the developers will consider their day-to-day plans, which could keep the crane standing some 20 stories or so for quite awhile.

"I think it is a temporary inconvenience, but it will be good for business," said Kay Kim, who owns and operates Sunny Pharmacy with her sister.

"I'm not worried about the crane falling, but politicians haven't told us anything about impact on business," said Greg Lentini, the manager of DonnaGio's Pizzeria, adding that the loss of street parking has affected sales. "I'm planning to go to the next board meeting to address the issue."

"I feel like since the crane fell, now they are taking extra precautions, so that's a good thing," said Thi Bay Mirandoli, who helps her family manage Giulia's Kitchen. "People just don't want to have a fine dining experience in front of a construction area."

"We feel confident when completed that it will be something that residents of Cliffside Park will be proud of and it will be an economic engine for years to come," said borough spokesman Bill Maer, adding that more than a year's work is still ahead.

The timetable didn't convince Lentini.

"It'll probably take another ten years," he said.

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