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What Biz Should Fill the Bank of America Building?

Building has been vacant since early 2010 and is one of the largest spaces in downtown Ridgewood.

One of the village's largest, most iconic downtown buildings remains vacant after closing several years ago.

According to the village's office of assessment, the Bank of America building remains one of the village's most valued properties, with an assessment checking in at $5,400,000 for a total of 34,000 square feet.

It  after the multinational bank reported record losses.

Sources familiar with the property, located at 58 E. Ridgewood Ave., say numerous ideas have been pitched, but quibbles over high rent and a large amount of variances needed (notably, parking) have slowed the process.

What do you think should fill the space? A small mall? A night club? Restaurant? A big retail store?

(Perhaps a bank that serves frozen yogurt, pizza, and does nails? Anyone? Beuhler?)

Let us know in the comments what you'd like to see.

J.D. Luke May 08, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Combine the two previous comments and you've got a winner of a business model.
Chris Cortazzo May 08, 2012 at 06:21 PM
A biergarten would be great, though it would require serious rennovation to open up more outdoor space for that lot (perhaps where that rear one story annex is). The biergartens in Hoboken and Jersey City are extremely popular, and attract a bit more mature audience than the typical Hoboken watering hole, and would fit in the neighborhood, driving more foot traffic on nights and weekends.
J.D. Luke May 08, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemutlichkeit. Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der Gemutlichkeit.
Laurie Goodman May 08, 2012 at 07:44 PM
It's the perfect space to transform into the Ridgewood Community Theater. Could be used by local theater and school groups to take the pressure off BF Middle School, which is currently the de facto "community theater" and woefully inadequate. Could bring in traveling productions, use for Stage Right...use for Ridgewood Symphony, local band concerts. Probably forgetting some other uses, but the bottom line it would be a huge boost to local arts. That's my idea now who's got ideas for how to raise the funds? ;)
Laurie Goodman May 08, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I agree!
News Man May 08, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Large performance theatres are difficult to attract "investors". There are too many Colleges, Church, and School Gyms trying to attract "patrons of the Arts" for this small Village. What you want and need are 'big money investors" looking for a profitable business operations. Start with your "Commercial Realtors" they know the necessary process that needs to be taken.
News Man May 08, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Perhaps, our Village Commercial Realtor Brokers could use a little help. Try this: Click this LINK: Somebody is investing in a New Hotel like this: http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2012_2nd/Apr12_ElementHarrisonNJ.html Thanks.
Paul May 08, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Laurie Goodman, Why don't you buy it for your family. Then when you live there for a couple of years have the new BOE surround the building with 7 stadium high powered lights, transformers, wires, and noise. Like you did to our nice street! Thats my idea now get busy talking people into raising the funds:) P.S. the lights on stevens was a bad idea and that is why your not on the BOE .
The Flea May 08, 2012 at 09:47 PM
If it doesn't flood, the council should use eminent domain, take it over and move the Village Hall there. They could then turn the old building into a multi level parking garage.
James Kleimann May 08, 2012 at 10:09 PM
So many good ideas here. Pet Disco still wins.
No One May 08, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Batman's weekend cave.
Craig Hueneke May 08, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Insert "Cat Hissing" Sound Track Here.
Craig Hueneke May 08, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I GOT IT!!! I don't know if any of you had noticed but we got a little bit of a parking problem in this town...SO.... WHY NOT PUT UP A PARKING GARAGE!!! Thank You! Thank You! God Bless America and May God Bless Ridgewood.. Good Night! ;)
Paul May 08, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Insert " Snoring" Sleeping sound track here! Just kidding have a great night!!
Melvin Freedenberg May 08, 2012 at 10:59 PM
The village needs to go into the archives and see what Indian tribe used to occupy the area before the white man came here. Then we need to find a descendent of that tribe and make him the owner, in spitit, of the New Ridgewood Casino. Eventually, with Pennsylvania Casinos hurting Atlantic City, New Jersey will lift the restrictions on caninos in other towns. " C'mon seven."
limabean May 09, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I heard a steakhouse is applying
RdgwdGRock May 09, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Eataly in Manhattan has a rooftop beer garden
RdgwdGRock May 09, 2012 at 02:35 AM
the ridgewood duck family is saying "fowl" to a steak joint
Laurie Goodman May 09, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Funny guy. Do you have an idea for the bank building? (It's out of my family's price range.)
Craig Hueneke May 09, 2012 at 04:16 AM
Cheap smokes, gambling, and live performances by past their prime acts like Hall & Oats, Air Supply, etc... All right here in Ridgewood!! MELVIN my man... YOU are a SUPER GENIUS!!
News Man May 09, 2012 at 11:59 AM
The building value is $5,400,000 on the tax rolls. Are the taxes fully paid? Also a consideration for a potential investor and/or buyer.
Rock May 09, 2012 at 02:21 PM
If the assessed value is at $5.4 million, using even residential tax rates....what does that end up at? I'm guessing a $1million home in Ridgewood pays maybe $30k in taxes? So that would put taxes there at $162,000 annual, or $13,500 a month. Thats alot of overhead, especially for poor revenue generators like local theaters. It will have to be something high end (big markups), expensive, and/or very very popular (aka crowded). Not sure if the assumption on tax rates is good, or if a residential rate is more or less than a tax rate in the CBD.
John Hahn May 09, 2012 at 02:23 PM
I saw a similar building in NYC just last evening. Corner of 14th St & 8th Ave. A former bank building is now (insert drum roll) a C V S. Yes it is now a CVS. How about a business incubator?
JYK May 09, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Sephora.
James Kleimann May 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
There's also a sewage fee, which will run in the seven digits annually. It's a nice building, but would definitely need a lot of renovations if it were to be high end. Plus, it's a historical building, so it would have very strict variance regulations.
James Kleimann May 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
I saw that! I even commented to a friend how out of place it seems.
Bill Connor May 10, 2012 at 01:41 PM
as previously suggested a boutique hotel.Travel to Morristowns downtown and you can see how the Hotel is the bedrock for business spend as well as for residents events parties fund raisers.Train to the City right there cant Hurt.Good Luck to us all,
Melvin Freedenberg May 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
After reading about the mothly costs, it is going to be near impossible for somebody to plunk down that kind of money and assume the monthly fixed charges. Only an idiot would make that kind of investment. Is Donald Trump in the house?
Steve May 14, 2012 at 05:03 AM
How about making it a bank? It's already set up for one.
News Man July 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Back to square one, with a Skull and Crossbones on the flag post. Perhaps, put there by the Realtor that is still looking for a use and buyer July 17, 2012. Patch advertising just gave them a free ad today.

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