What's Going on Next to ShopRite on Route 34 in Aberdeen?
The abandoned homes at Lloyd and 34 were leveled, along with the surrounding trees
Suzanne Vreeland and her 8-year-old daughter walked by a recently cleared area of trees and brush next to ShopRite of Aberdeen, shortly before two abandoned houses there were knocked down.
They took a peek into the window of one home, catching a glimpse of what life was like before the intersection was heavily developed. Vreeland saw a shelf with old books, an old decorative plate still hanging on the wall and a piece of junk mail with the name Emma Brown on it.
"From looking in the windows it seemed like it was in disrepair. It seemed like nobody had been there for a while," Vreeland said.
For Vreeland and her daughter, it was a nostalgic and almost sad moment.
"It sounded like that Joni Mitchell song, they're paving paradise and putting in a parking lot," she said.
According to documents on file with the Aberdeen Township Planning, Zoning and Development office, the site will soon be home to a PNC Bank.
About three years ago, an application was made to the planning board by Nawatam Associates, LLC for an office building at that location. The plans included a separate entrance from ShopRite on Route 34, and would not allow access from the ShopRite parking lot. The application was approved, but the project never moved forward, the documents indicate.
In early 2011, Nawatam applied to build a bank at that location. They gained permission from ShopRite to share the entrance on Lloyd Road in addition to an entrance from Route 34, according to the plans on file.
The PNC will be a full service bank, including a drive through. Additional parking is also planned for the lot.
There are currently several banks near that intersection, including an Amboy Bank, a Bank of America, a Wells Fargo, a Hudson City Bank and a Chase bank inside of the ShopRite.
Editor's note: This article was updated to further clarify that the office building did not share access with ShopRite and the application was made through the planning board.