Home Depot has run into new problems in New Jersey, as a second community in recent weeks has turned them away. The Asbury Park Press reports that on November 5th, the Marlboro, New Jersey Planning Board stiffed by a 4-2 vote a proposal by Home Depot to build a 124,507 s.f. store where a Kmart died two years past. Home Depot wanted to add 16,650 s.f. to the existing 107,857 s.f. empty Kmart. The company’s plan, however, did not sit well with Marlboro Mayor Matthew V. Scannapieco, who sits on the Planning Board. A nearby Blockbuster store and ShopRite supermarket caused the Board to question the public safety of the proposal. “I’m not sure that this Home Depot is the right choice for this shopping center,” one board member said. Home Depot’s lawyer apparently didn’t like the taste that Marlboro left in his mouth. “I’m very disappointed,” the company’s lawyer said, “because we weren’t given the opportunity to answer the questions and concerns raised by the board and I find it embarrassing that a no-variance, no-waiver application cannot get approval here.” Marlboro officials seem to be reaching the end of the road for sprawling boxes. According to the newspaper, this stretch of Route 9 already has a Lowe’s, Sears, Kohl’s, Regal Cinema, New York Sports Club, ShopRite and Pathmark supermarkets. One issue of contention with the Home Depot plan was the location of the loading docks. The company moved the loading area once to avoid conflicts with smaller retailers in the area, but the plan still did not satisfy the Planning Board. So although Home Depot is embarassed by the defeat, not too many others in Marlboro seem to care.
The town of Brick, New Jersey also recently rejected Home Depot, paying more than $6 million to buy land out from under the retailer. In that case also, the town had a Lowe’s. So in these two cases, it appears that Home Depot suffered from being at the end of the sprawl line to get in. Search Newsflash by the company name or “New Jersey” to learn about other defeats Home Depot has suffered at the hands of New Jersey officials.