Galloway was not the only town hit by the economic recession that sent tax bills sky rocking to make up for the decline in commercial development. The Township is now experiencing a time where construction of commercial buildings are now the normal. A benefit to the taxpayers that according to Mayor Don Purdy "the residents have seen this year and years to come."
The Planning and Zoning Boards have been hearing applications in record speed with little to no opposition for the commercial developments. In 2002, commercial applications in front of the boards were meet with resident opposition; that time has since passed.
"Commercial development is essential for any municipality in order to thrive and offer the best services it can for the residents and visitors in the Township" Mayor Don Purdy said. "Not only will the commercial development provide services, but also secures new jobs for Galloway residents that have already suffered from the economic decline in the casino market" Purdy stated. Purdy himself employs approximately 45 employees between the two new commercial developments he has built; Purdy Collision and Purdy Automotive on the White Horse Pike.
Now a new developer heading their way to Smithville recognizes the need to add bigger name brand box stores and provide an even wider range of services for the community. Harvey Rosenblatt, contract purchaser of the Smithville Town Center located on Route 9 and Smithville Boulevard will soon be offering bigger box stores. Rosenblatt who appeared at a recent Township Council meeting has stated he is in talks with Dunkin Donuts, Petsmart or Petco, and possibly a produce provider and entertainment center.
One of the biggest accomplishments in promoting commercial development has been the Township's ongoing redevelopment plans in the western part of the Township. A deal that is ready to go public with the developer for the old Lenox China building. Barrette Outdoor Living, the owner of Railing Dynamics Inc. (RDI) has begun their search to hire at least 250 employees in their new plant located at the Lenox building. “Since becoming Mayor in 2012 the Lenox site has been at the top of my list for development and creating jobs that are not casino jobs,” Purdy said.
A super wawa is finishing their approvals with state agencies before they begin construction at Pomona Road and the White Horse Pike. Across the street the old Assumption Church is now a redevelopment zone, and down the street a new CVS was built with additional commercial development in the wings of construction.
The Township has already seen the construction of Burger King, Jersey Shore Credit Union, Family Dollar Store, The Courtyard, Purdy Automotive, CVS, Super Wawa, Hangtime Bar & Grille to name a few.
Still left to be built and already in construction phase is the new Strip Mall next to Veterans Park on Route 9, Dunkin Donuts on Jimmie Leeds Road, Strip Mall including a pharmacy at Sixth and Jimmie Leeds, Rehabilitation Center on Jimmie Leeds Road, 50,000 sq. ft. commercial development with drive-thru restaurant at Pitney and Great Creek Rd., 12,000 sq. ft., commercial development including gas station at Moss Mill and Pomona Road., and a new hotel on Route 30 with a standalone approval for an Applebee's style restaurant.
The Township will also become the main location for a new $20 million dollar Countywide Central Dispatch Center set to employ about 150-200 employees located on Pomona and Duerer Street in 2017. Such construction will add to the already 250 employees RDI is set to employ through 2016. The increase of employees heading to Galloway will not only help the commercial establishments but may also help with the residential rates and most likely help with bring down the foreclosure rates.
Galloway Township is on the way to recovery that will also begin to stabilize the local tax rate.