Combatting Misinformation: Stop & Shop (American Legion Drive)

In my previous post, I spoke about misinformation regarding bonding and how taxation works for various projects.  Today, I want to speak to the projects contemplated for Stop & Shop, American Legion Drive, and Cedar Lane.

  • Fact: Teaneck wants and has always wanted, Stop & Shop to stay and thrive (and even expand) in its current location.
  • Fact: Teaneck never asked or pressured Stop & Shop to close or move; Stop & Shop is not looking to close or move.
  • Fact: Other than concepts discussed by the parties, no plans exist for the area and no plans have been approved either by the Council or the Planning Board.
  • Fact: Any future plans for the area are still subject to many open public meetings, with legal notice
  • Fact: All plans being contemplated are voluntary to help businesses in the area.

So what’s been happening with Stop & Shop?

Of all the issues I speak to residents about, this may be one where the most misinformation is being spread.

Let’s talk about what’s been happening here.

Most people agree that we want a robust Stop & Shop that serves the needs of the town.  At that point, the rumors spread like wildfire.

On the Township Website, Stop & Shop & the Township posted a joint statement:

“Stop & Shop, in conjunction with the Township of Teaneck, is issuing this memo in the hope of dispelling the rumors circulating in the community that Stop & Shop’s Teaneck store might close.  The Township never asked or pressured Stop & Shop to close its store and Stop & Shop is not looking to close or move from its present Teaneck location on American Legion Drive.”

So what is the Town trying to do?

Businesses in Town need customers and customers come for businesses.  So there’s a bit of a chicken / egg problem.  How do you add the businesses before the people come to shop there and how do you get the people without the destinations?

That’s where the Town has been focusing its efforts.  The redevelopment area in question has several landowners.  In addition to the Township (we own various municipal lots – Lot 4.01) and Stop & Shop (Lots 3&4), there’s also the SGI-USA Buddhist Center (Lot 1) and NNN Teaneck NJ Owner LP (Lot 5).

How long has this been going on?

  • September 22, 2020: The Township put Resolution 203-2020 on its agenda asking its planner to prepare a report about the area for potential development
  • March 25, 2021: The Planning Board put the discussion of the Planner’s Report on their public agenda for discussion with community input
  • April 13, 2021: The Township put Resolution 87-2021 and Resolution 88-2021 on its agenda declaring the area a non-condemnation area in need of redevelopment and asking the planner to review the area to see what options were available and prepare a proposed redevelopment plan
  • May 28, 2021: Stop & Shop commenced an action captioned The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC v. Township of Teaneck et als., Docket No. BER-
  • June 22, 2021: The Township put Resolution 162-2021 on its agenda asking the planner to undertake planning consultant services
  • December 14, 2021: The Township put Resolution 312-2021 on its agenda to ask the planner to review if additional lots should be classified as non-condemnation areas in need of redevelopment
  • April 14, 2022: The Planning Board put the discussion of the Planner’s Report on their public agenda for discussion with community input
  • May 31, 2022: The Township put Resolution 148-2022 on its agenda declaring Beverly Road to be an area in need of redevelopment
  • September 20, 2022: The Township put:

So for those claiming this has been a secretive process, I’d like to ask you send them this page so they can click through on every single meeting and resolution, all of which had community input regarding the resolutions and reports.

Ok, so the Town has been publicly posting about this, but didn’t Stop & Shop sue Teaneck?  Why did they do that?

That’s a terrific question and it goes to the nature of land use when multiple parties are involved.  Remember – the Town, Stop & Shop, the Buddhist Center and others own parts of this area.  In order to get a deal done that everyone agrees with, you need to incentivize and work with all the parties.  One of the ways you try to get a bit of an upper hand in the process is to file suit.  This suit was purely procedural and bought Stop & Shop additional time to study the proposed reporting and have input into the process. If you take a look at the complaint, it’s all about process and if you look at the docket, you’ll note something is missing: any attempt to move the case along.  Neither Stop & Shop nor Teaneck did anything with this case, other than negotiating a settlement.  And once that was done, the case went away.

And remember: even in the midst of “litigating” this issue, Stop & Shop and Teaneck were issuing joint statements about how they were working together.

Ok, the case is gone, but I’ve been told the deal is done.  Is that wrong?

Yes, it’s wrong.

Part of the settlement process was outlining an agreement, in principle that the parties could live with.  The goals were the mutual benefit of the stores, residents and the area in general.

But I saw pictures of plans!

So let’s take a look at the resolution that ended the case (that’s where those pictures came from).

You can find the resolution (252-2022) on the Township website:

Settlement Agreement

  • Since the commencement of the Action, the Litigants, in an effort to avoid the time and substantial cost of litigation, have conducted negotiations among themselves and with the other Parties in an attempt to amicably resolve the Action (pg 4)
  • Stop & Shop proposed certain alternative concept plans intended (pg. 4)
  • Discussion of a parking garage to increase available parking in the area (pgs 4-5)
  • Stop & Shop proposed a land exchange between NNN Teaneck and Crossroads which provides for greater visibility of Stop & Shop, allows for a future expansion of Stop & Shop, and facilitates the residential development proposed by Crossroads. (pg. 5)
  • The Litigants have agreed in principle on the parameters of a resolution of the Action (pg 5)
  • The Litigants, together with the other Parties who are not Litigants, desire to implement those steps… in order that the Project (defined below) may advance. (pg 5)

Regarding Proposal A:

  • Permitted uses shall be limited to multifamily residential use, associated amenities, associated garage parking underneath the residential building, related site improvements, and accessory uses and structures which are customary, subordinate and incidental to the principal use. (pg 9)
  • The minimum parking ratio shall be 1.50 spaces per dwelling unit, computed based on 128 units proposed and 192 parking spaces proposed per the Concept Plan (pg. 9)
  • Vehicular access shall be from Alma Terrace and North Street only (pg 10)

So is it a done deal if they agree with the plans?

No.  Remember, before any development can occur, before any final plans are submitted, and before any construction could ever occur, the Town must first, prepare and adopt a redevelopment plan.  Such a plan would put in place the actual zoning standards that would govern the development. Moreover, that redevelopment plan can only be adopted following public hearings, and on notice. Thereafter, proposed development plans would be designed in accordance with that redevelopment plan and submitted to the Town’s Planning Board.  Multiple hearings before the Planning Board with public notice and input are required for site plan approval, in addition to any variances and deviations required to be applied for.

  • Designated redevelopers may seek variances or deviations from the American Legion Drive Redevelopment Plan in accordance with the criteria specified in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70.c. (page 12)
  • Crossroads [the developer] shall prepare a phasing plan, which shall be approved by the Planning Board as part of or independent of its review and approval of any site plan, subject to the reasonable approval of, and coordination with, Stop & Shop and NNN Teaneck (pg. 13)
  • The Council shall enact the American Legion Drive Redevelopment Plan in accordance with the terms and conditions (pg 19)
  • The Council shall provide in the Redevelopment Plan or in the alternative shall amend Township Code § 36-12 concerning parking along American Legion Drive (pg. 19)
  • The Council… shall adopt a redevelopment plan as set forth (pg. 19)

But what about the impacts on the services Teaneck provides?  Is anyone going to check on those?

Of course.

    • Crossroads shall at its sole cost and expense prepare and submit, at the time specified below, the following impact studies:
      • Traffic study (pg. 18)
      • Utility studies (pg. 18)
      • Sound investigation (pg 18)

Ok, there are going to be additional meetings and reviews and hearings and requirements…  but will Stop & Shop have to close during this process?


  • Construction staging shall be located upon Crossroads’ property… so as not to impede or disrupt NNN Teaneck’s or Stop & Shop’s land,
    or Stop & Shop’s business operations.(pg. 21)

Does everyone agree with this in the area?

  • The agreement is between the 8 parties listed (pg 28)
  • The entire project is a non-condemnation area, meaning the Town at NO TIME is even considering forcing owners to act.  This is a process being undertaken willingly for the benefit of all and with the participation of all.

What are the concept plans?

The plans are in the settlement linked above.  I’ll review them in the next post.

Why is there so much misinformation about this?

Change is never an easy thing and for better or worse, there is a lot of distrust among the public right now.

I don’t want any member of the public to take my word for what’s written above.  That’s why I include links and information on where the source material can be found.

Bottom Line: Teaneck wants a strong and vibrant community with shops that attract customers and customers that bring merchants.

We need to kickstart that process.  This is one of many steps along that road.

NOTHING is passed, NOTHING is a ‘done deal’.  But to continue Moving Teaneck Forward, we need to work together!

Please share facts and combat disinformation.



Combatting Misinformation: Bonding


2 Replies to “Combatting Misinformation: Stop & Shop (American Legion Drive)”

  1. You said above that Crossroads was chosen because they are a landlord in the area. What exactly do they own in the Stop & Shop area?

    1. The properties owned by the various entities are listed in the resolution linked in the post. It speaks for itself.

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