Starbucks and BCB Bank have both signed leases on spaces in the upcoming Clarus Maplewood, a three-story, mixed-use building rising at the site of the former Post Office in Maplewood Village.
The lease signings were confirmed Tuesday by the building’s developer, Joe Forgione of JMF Properties. Forgione had said in March that the two companies had signed letters of intent. Starbucks would move into the corner of the property that borders Ricalton Square; BCB would inhabit the corner facing Village Coffee.
In April, after learning that Starbucks was one of several potential tenants for the building, a group of Village merchants asked township officials for greater input into the tenancy of the development, originally known as the Maplewood Post House.
Some at the meeting expressed concern about having chain stores in the Village; others wondered about a 2003 township ordinance banning fast food chains in some parts of town.
Township Committeeman Greg Lembrich said then that the fast food ordinance was “narrower than some people think” with the the definition of fast food being “a majority of cooked food prepared prior to being ordered” — a definition that would “obviously not prohibit” businesses like The Able Baker or Bagel Chateau.
“It’s a common sense definition,” said Lembrich. At the meeting, Mayor Vic DeLuca said that if the town attorney found that Starbucks fit the definition of fast food in the Maplewood ordinance, it would not be allowed in town.
The Village Green reached out to Lembrich and Township Attorney Roger Desiderio on Tuesday to ask for clarification on whether the township had made any determination yet; we will update this article when we learn more.
In March Forgione acknowledged that Starbucks would be a lightening rod in Maplewood. “I truly believe that [it] will be an asset, a positive to the town,” he said, [but] “half the town is going to love it and the other will hate it.”