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 Post subject: Palmer Mine will be history
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:39 pm 
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Found this article on the net guys:

Nat’l chains developing in Franklin

Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 by Webmaster

By PAT MINDOS
Herald Staff Writer

FRANKLIN — New franchise stores are being built or planned for Route 23, furthering the transformation of the area into a mecca for national chains.
Projects under way or under development include fast-food sandwich shops, a gas station, a radio electronics store and an office-supply store.
“We’ve got a lot of good things coming,” said Mayor Doug Kistle. “Everybody wants to come to Franklin.”
South of Wal-Mart, the new stores could include Staples and Quick Chek.
To the right of Blockbuster Video, property owner Jerry Nardella, of Wayne, proposes a 6,000-square-foot center. If completed, Radio Shack, Subway and a variety store will be built there.
“That fits in there well,” said Kistle. “It was a plan from the beginning for that location, even before Wal-Mart.”
Another developer has its eye on the former King Pin Lanes, at 70 Highway 23. That could become a Staples office-supply store.
That application will be heard by the zoning board when it meets at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 2.
The new commercial development could be a plus for current businesses, such as SussexBank, at 399 Route 23.
“I hope it is a local entrepreneur who gets the franchises but the bank will be aggressive no matter who owns it to get a commercial account,” said Don Kovach, company president and chief executive officer for Sussex Bancorp.
Having more service and retail businesses available to SussexBank’s customers benefits the bank in general, he said.
“I think from the bank’s perspective, it’s a positive,” Kovach said.
Sussex Bancorp is the holding company for SussexBank, with headquarters in Franklin.
Kistle does not think the stores on Route 23 will compete with commercial development proposed for Main Street, located off the highway in the center of town.
“Main Street will offer completely different types of stores,” the mayor said.
Property on the former zinc mining site is zoned for up to 600 units of senior housing. On the upper level of the property, Kistle envisions a small restaurant, a hardware store and a small clothing store.
Other appropriate businesses could be a nail salon or a hairdresser’s shop.
Proposed development on the zinc property includes two projects —
Zinctown Properties LLC, a residential complex with a small, nested retail village; and Franklin Senior Housing, a 94-unit senior housing apartment building.
The zoning board will hear both applications within the next two months.
For Zinctown, the developer, Tony Patire proposes a retail park, including offices, a high-quality restaurant and eight family townhomes on approximately 22 acres of the former zinc mining property at 95 Main St.
Patire’s project also includes 350 units for 55-and-older residents.
They would be built on the lower section of the zinc property.
The application for variance requests will be heard by the zoning board on Feb. 2.
The franchise stores on the Route 23 corridor could help Zinctown Properties’ commercial development on Main Street, said Zinctown’s attorney.
“Anything that benefits Franklin benefits everyone and the local property values,” said Thomas H. Prol, of Fitzgibbons-MacMullin & Prol LLC, of Franklin in an e-mail message. “Zinctown is probably not seeking the same larger tenants that are located on Rte 23.”
The Route 23 corridor will be larger-scale commercial area while the commercial portion of Zinctown is envisioned as a smaller-scale, destination niche retail center, he said.
In a separate portion of the zinc property, Franklin Senior Housing proposes to build a $10 million, moderate-income senior housing project on the corner of Sterling and Mill streets.
The zoning board unanimously approved in June two variances —density and height. The board agreed that about 47 units per acre can be built and the building can be five stories high.
With the approval, 94 apartments can be built on the 2.2-acre property.
Previous zoning allowed only 10 units per acre and limited building height to 2 1/2 stories.
The board still has to approve the site plan, which could be heard March 2, said Jennifer Vanderwiele, the attorney representing SussexBank.
SussexBank sold the property to the developer.
The bank is partially financing the project, she said.
Nearby these two projects, 64 units of senior housing will be built on a hill above Main Street
The zoning board approved the Miner’s Cove project last summer, said the applicant’s attorney, Kevin D. Kelly, of Kelly & Ward, of Newton.
“It should be ready to break ground in the spring,” he said.
The plans call for four 12,000-square-foot buildings to be built on 5.77 acres on the hill on the east side of Main Street near County Route 631.
Each building would house 16 one-bedroom, age-restricted apartments.
On Route 23, Subway proposes to build a restaurant covering approximately 1,300 square feet. It is tentatively scheduled to open late fall this year but construction has not started.
The restaurant, which is awaiting borough approvals, wants to build on Route 23 because of the highway location.
“It’s constantly developing and growing,” said Curt Urban, director of new development Subway Franchising. “Route 23 is convenient for our travelers to come into the restaurant.”
The former bowling alley could be converted into an 18,347-square-foot Staples store. The applicant also wants to build on a 3,722-square-foot addition for a second retail store, said James Kilduff, borough planning and community development director.
Staples has a pending request before the zoning board for a use variance. Staples wants to extend the building beyond the bowling alley, Kistle said.
Construction on a new three-story bank and office building could begin in three to four weeks, weather permitting, Kilduff said.
Boiling Springs Bank, with professional offices on the upper floors, will be located on the highway just north of Dunkin Donuts.
Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers, about 3,100 square feet, was built next to the 4,000-square-foot Quik Chek gas station and food store, south of the bank building.
Another pending senior housing project is slated for property between Route 23, Cork Hill Road and Munsonhurst Road.
K. Hovnanian Co., based in Edison, proposes to build between 500 and 600 two- and three-bedroom homes.
“We think the project is ready to go,” said Kelly, who also represents Hovnanian.
Kistle declined to comment because the application is still under negotiation.
He also declined to comment on whether Wal-Mart wants to build a superstore at its current location on Route 23.
“That’s speculation, there are talks going on,” he said.
The borough has its own sewer system and relies on two community wells to provide water for its residents.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:07 pm 
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Wow, whoever heard of developing over former mine shafts before! The name "Zinctown" is a desecration of the town's mining heritage. There was once a time in Franklin when the mine built the town and even the mayor worked for the mine. This mayor and planning board should be ashamed for not stopping this. The town of Franklin is known as the fluorescent mineral capital of the world and the Franklin Mine, one of the most important mines in America. The best they can do to preserve this history is by naming their housing complex Zinctown? HA!

It is no wonder most people have no idea there was any mining at all in New Jersey -- just think what it'll be like 50 years from now...

Miner Mike

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:39 pm 
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This will be a very sad day in history when this development starts. The IronMiners.com flag will be at half staff.... From the sounds of the article, I have a feeling that the Franklin Mineral Museum is being kept happy and are probably getting some type of funding from the development companies. But it is a big shame to see a big portion of the zinc capital of the world to go to development and a senior center..


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:52 pm 
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yes this has me upset.

The museum is being kept happy. Since there are millions of dollars of fluorescent minerals at the palmer site, the developer will gladly "donate" these rocks to the Franklin Mineral Museum. The donation will be considered charity and the developer will be getting a huge check back from the government. the Franklin Museum will be happy to get new rocks to advertise to the salvitating rock hounds all over the world. They are due to start construction very soon. The remaining smokestacks will be demolished. The changehouse is going to become a commercial store, and the palmer shaft right outside it will be covered and never get a mention. In 20 years, a few old timers will point at the blacktop and say "thats where the headframe was" before it erodes out of the minds of everyone.

Franklin was the model mining town, during the time when mine owners took advantage and abused its workers, the franklin mine was offering its employees, free phone and electrical service. They offered an 8 hour workday before it became law, and even built the areas first hospitol. They also built the library and a neighborhood clubhouse, and paid their workers well. Franklin was built by the mine and before then nobody cared to go to sussex county. its ashamed that one of the few companies that functioned a foundatin of morals and ethics is now going to be paved over by the greddy developers and the towns people they have in their pockets.

Maybe these developers should acquire more of our national heritage, like ellis island and build apartments there, they can call it "freedom land" to preserve it.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:59 pm 
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I also have to criticize the Franklin Historical society, for letting the remains rot and overgrow. they should have done something creative with it, there was no preservation attempted and the area has been gated and locked for almost 50 years. I dont think it would have taken much to cut a path out and provide walking tours, it was a matter of time in that condition before someone was eventually going to make proposals for it. If it was under my control, I would have petitioned many agencies to help provide funding for preservatino, even making it a landmark site.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:36 am 
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Just got an update from Betty Allen on the status of this project:

"They (Hovnanian)have entered into a contract, and are doing due diligence for a four month period. Episcopal diocese of Newark is also going before the
zoning bd for a 5 story senior housing bld on the site behind the
Franklin Library. That group already got variances and need site plan
approval. As to the lower level with K. Hov, who knows where that will go! "


Interesting that behind the Frankli Library is the Timber Shaft of the franklin mine. If they plan to build a senior housing there, they will definately need to address it. Here is a shot of this shaft:

http://www.abandonedmines.net/palmer/DSC_3316.JPG


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:20 pm 
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This has me completely infuriated- all the great collecting areas on the east coast are being destroyed by over-zealous developers who don't give about history or science or what not. I was very young back when this happened, but the best collecting locality in Connecticut is now a golf course- It was called the Strickland Quarry and there was an astounding variety of pegmatite minerals found there- About 100 or so. It produced excellent specimens of crystalline uraninite, columbite, elbaite, and beryl and was one of the "must have" localities for classic collectors. The quarry shut down in I think 1990 and lasted until 1995 when the town decided to build a golf course over it to make the town of Portland a more desirable place to live. Most people in Portland Connecticut don't even know how much of a mineral hotspot their town used to be, and I don't think they really care either. I'm upset saying this but I think the same could possibly happen to Franklin, New Jersey. In 50 years no one will even remember the importance of the town. The museums will be sold, shafts capped off, and dumps bulldozed and covered in soil.. The mines will be underneath walmarts, mcdonalds, or rows of nearly identical boxlike houses and Franklin will just have to welcome it's status as a "Main Street USA" town where everyone has 2 kids and a dog, there's a Wal-Mart on every corner and no history of mineral collecting or mining. Nobody cares abot some dumb rocks and some old mineshafts anyway.

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Last edited by Jeremy Z. on Mon Apr 17, 2006 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 pm
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Location: Hamburg, NJ
your absolutely right jeremy. there is actually a walmart in franklin nj, it came there a few years ago. the giant palmer mine smoke stacks are still there, but not for long.


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