The Waterview developer, RD Realty (RDR), is the national developer of the three largest “general merchandise” big box stores: Walmart, Kmart and Target. RDR wants to build a giant Target big box with a strip mall and super high density townhouses, by paving over 80 percent of the 27 acre woodland property in Parsippany known as Waterview. Parsippany will vote to rezone that property to commercial retail on September 17. We need everyone’s support to fight this.
Funny thing about the last couple of decades of giant national chain big box stores: Their strategy appears to be complete takeover of the American economy! Take a look at what they have already accomplished in New Jersey and Parsippany – a complete saturation of our retail market. On average, big box chain stores have 50 stores EACH in New Jersey. Of this amount, 20% or one-fifth of all of these Big Box stores are located within a 20 mile radius in and around Parsippany!
There are 43 Target stores in New Jersey, with 6 stores within 20 miles of Parsippany.
There are 53 Walmart stores in New Jersey, with 6 stores within 15 miles of Parsippany.
There are 37 Kmart stores in New Jersey, with 9 stores within 20 miles of Parsippany.
Just for comparison sake, let’s take a look at some other types of “special merchandise” big box stores. Do you see a pattern emerging?
Home Depot – 67 stores in New Jersey, 20 of them located within 20 miles of Parsippany.
Party City – 28 stores in New Jersey, with 8 stores within 20 miles of Parsippany.
Marshalls – 46 stores in New Jersey, with 10 stores within 15 miles of Parsippany.
Sears – 91 stores in New Jersey, with 10 stores located within 20 miles of Parsippany.
Michaels – 30 stores in New Jersey, with 8 stores located within 20 miles of Parsippany.
All you need to do is drive 15 minutes or less in ANY direction from Parsippany, and you can be at any one of these eight big box stores! Do we really need another big box? Is that good municipal planning? Does that help our local economy? Don’t we have enough retail vacancies lying waste right now?
Parsippany already has its share of big box stores. It has a Kmart, Home Depot, Party City, Marshalls, and Michaels. There is a Walmart in Boonton (3 miles away). There is already a Target in East Hanover (6 miles away). Why do we need another Target just so Parsippany can say it has one too? Does that sound crazy? Maybe every municipality and village in New Jersey should have every big box chain store. Well, you know, that’s the big box strategy!
Furthermore, Mayor Barberio’s simply wrong about the economics of big box stores. The ugly truth is that big box stores kill jobs and local economies.
Studies on big box chain stores show they eliminate jobs, not create them! Typically, for every one job that a Walmart creates, there are 1.4 jobs lost elsewhere in the community. For example, a Walmart typically employs 300 people. However, since the big box stores steal business from the smaller local retail stores, it results, on average, in 450 employees from the local community losing their jobs as a direct result of the big box store moving in – a net loss to the municipality, on average, of 150 jobs! So, when Mayor Barberio talks about the creation of 300-400 new jobs from this big box Waterview development, he clearly does not understand that Parsippany will be losing jobs, not gaining jobs. It is time to wake up!
Not to mention, of course, that the jobs that these big box stores create offer substandard wages. According to Stacy Mitchell, an expert in big box fiscal analysis, recently interviewed on Business Beat Radio in Parsippany (http://businessbeatradio.com/028-parsippanys-big-box-swindle-with-stacy-mitchell): “Target’s business model is exactly like Walmart’s. Their wages are actually a little bit lower than Walmart’s, on average, but they have the same [negative] impact on jobs.” As wages go down, income goes down, tax collection goes down, crime goes up and police calls go up. That’s what we have to look forward to if the Parsippany Council decides to support RDR’s proposal for a rezoning of Waterview.
Say good-bye, Mayor Barberio, to Money Magazine’s rating of Parsippany as the 16th nicest place to live in America that you like to quote so often. Kiss it good-bye if you decide to rezone Waterview. Don’t sell your soul to big box. Say “No” to Rezoning.
Nancy du Tertre
Board Member, Citizens for Health, Safety & Welfare