Business owners in River Edge want to leave complex after facade collapse
Some business owners at a strip mall in River Edge say that they want to leave the complex following a partial collapse of the facade attached to the building.
Part of the facade at Kress Plaza collapsed July 3, damaging cars and stores beneath it.
"There was tremendous damage to our inventory. Think about a rainstorm on comic books,” says National Artifacts owner Michael Parness.
Parness says that one of this employees was trapped inside the shop after the collapse. She had to be rescued by firefighters.
"She's been traumatized and she does not want to work here anymore,” Parness says. “We've been trying to engage the landlord in a discussion to work out something in terms of lease. We want out of the lease, and he has not been receptive at all."
Some of the other shops in Kress Plaza, like the bagel shop and jewelry store, are looking to reopen this upcoming weekend.
The other half of the strip mall is owned by Barry Wong. He says that he put in his own money to get shops back on their feet and will deal with insurance later.
“People need income now so I was doing what I could to get the ball rolling,” he says.
Wong says that the collapse brought the shop owners closer together. He says that a hair salon on his side offered a nail shop on the other end space in their store.
“Lonnie had never met Beverly before but she was willing to [offer her space],” Wong says.
But Parness says that he won’t be reopening in Kress Plaza.
"We enjoyed our time here. Hopefully we work something out amicably with the landlord but it's time to move on,” he says.
News 12 New Jersey reached out to Kress Associates for comment, but has not heard back.