Taranga News

Breaking News for Nation and World


Entrepreneurs are coming forward to purchase the long-vacant former Sun Bank building, prominently located in the heart of Browns Mills near Mirror Lake.

The pair proposed a lounge and cafe and a beer and wine garden
‘Luxury’ residential apartments are planned on the top floor

by Douglas D. Melagari

staff Writer

Pemberton—A venture has come forward that is interested in purchasing and redeveloping the long-abandoned former Sun Bank building, which sits prominently in the heart of Browns Mills, a downtown community in Pemberton Township near Mirror Lake.

Before & After Properties, LLC presented a plan to the Pemberton Township Council during its August 16 session to renovate the second and third floors of the building, currently owned by the municipality, to reclassify them as “luxury” or “high-end” properties. -end” has been changed. but “affordable” apartments, while the lower portion of the lakeside facility will be converted into an indoor lounge and cafe, which will also house a gift shop.

However, the owners, Tyrone and Kerry Gillon, emphasized that they “want to keep with all the historic features of the building” and “didn’t want to take away from the natural beauty of this building.”

According to Gillons, the proposal for 1 Clubhouse Road also includes the establishment of a beer and wine garden.

Kerry Gillon told the council that “we realized it’s a very historic building” that was “once used for what we want to do” and that by getting the kids involved in the community, getting involved in the community and the city Given the proposals for what to do in the city to revitalize it (including “installing a boat ramp and things like that” for Mirror Lake, according to Tyrone Gillon), “we think we need to bring people into the city.” and develop interest in the city by creating a lounge”, and beer and wine gardens.

Gillon said she “hopes to have boating and fishing in the lake,” and that a nearby lounge will be a place “where people can relax, meet their neighbors and the community.”

The cafe will serve as a place for people to “get something to eat,” he said, which will encourage socialization.

He declared, “The building of the city is the object of my mind.”

early renewal offer

According to Tyrone Gillon, “all three apartments and the cafe will have views of the lake.”

The planned lounge would be located on the left side of the building, “where the Sun Bank used to be,” or teller station, while on the right, “there would be a cafe and we’re looking to put a gift shop in Mirror Lake.”

The gift shop will include “memorable items for Mirror Lake”, he said, while the cafe will include “pastries and things of that nature”.

“They will be smaller items, pre-packaged items,” he said. “We are not looking at opening a full-fledged restaurant. This is something we are talking about doing in the future.

Additionally, Kerry Gillen stated that the pair investigated possibly setting up a bed and breakfast for the site, however, they came to the decision that “it would be too challenging to start that type of business.”

Long-term rentals seem to be the better way to go at the moment, according to Gillon, until the municipality “brings more attractions into the city.”

“One of the most important features,” as proposed by Tyrone Gillon, is a “beer and wine garden”.

One of the men who helped with their venture, Brian Hewlett, is originally from England, and told the council that beer and wine gardens are “very famous” there.

“I would like to bring one here so families can enjoy an evening out,” he said, adding that the layout will be designed to allow families from out of town to bring their children with them, but not subject to a bar-like atmosphere. Keeping in mind that the area will also be cordoned off.

That’s why, he added, “we want to try to stay away from alcohol, because it gets over some people and they don’t handle it so well.”


A proposed rendering for the former Sun Bank building at 1 Clubhouse Road in Browns Mills, with a potential buyer offering apartments on the top floor and a lounge, cafe and gift shop on the bottom floor, as well as a beer and wine garden outside is proposed. photo provided


According to Hewlett, if there is “good success” with the concept, the plan is to “introduce a waiting service”.

“I think it will be a great enjoyment for the families that want to come out,” he said. “Perhaps on summer evenings we will have light music or some kind of light entertainment to encourage people to come.”

Republican Councilman Joshua Ward, who has years of experience in the hospitality industry, declared that he “thinks beer and wine gardens are the way to go” because “there are so many locally-sourced things in the area.”

‘Mirror Lake is a beautiful place’

Councilman Dan Dewey, another Republican, said the proposal was a “breath of fresh air for the city.” However, he pressed the entrepreneurs on whether their ultimate plan was to have a “full-fledged restaurant”.

“We really want to work with local businesses in town, build relationships and build from that,” replied Tyrone Gillon. “So many people say, ‘Why don’t you build a restaurant?’, but we’re going to need to do a lot more than just food. You have to give people a reason to come out, entertainment has to come to the fore.

However, that being said, “Mirror Lake is a beautiful place” and “when we entered it, we saw the beauty there – and I think it’s a great opportunity for the city and the people who live here.”

As for the three proposed apartments, Tyrone Gillon explained, “On the top two floors, we’re building residential apartments… high-end apartments,” with Kerry Gillon further stating that they are “looking at building luxury apartments.” were doing them, but by making them affordable, it would make it where people would want to come,” the owners stressed, noting that they would all have views of the lake.

One of the apartments proposed for the second floor will have one bedroom and one bathroom, while the other will have two bedrooms and two bathrooms. On the third floor, the proposed apartment would have three bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a living room and TV room, it was noted.

“The third floor is not in the best shape, and we really have to do a lot with the third floor,” Tyrone Gillon explained.

Democratic Council Chairman Donovan Gardner inquired about whether activities planned downstairs, including music, could cause discomfort for residents living in apartments above.

Tyrone Gillon replied, “We’re going to run it out of respect for those above.” “We don’t want to be a nuisance to our tenants.”

When Gardner asked if “the tenants will have their own parking spot,” Tyrone Gillon replied “absolutely,” noting that the renovation plan called for “turning the drive through windows into carports.”

But when the pair pointed to planned renovations for the building, Tyrone Gillon insisted that “we’d save the doors, the pillars and the light fixtures if we could,” however, at this time, “The lighting has to change.”

For example, according to Kerry Gillan, “we want to keep the molding of the crown,” while Tyrone Gillan made a point that “we want to keep the beauty of the stairs” that lead up.

Gardner concluded, “It’s a great opportunity.” “I am looking forward to it.”

‘Super Happy’ and ‘Super Excited’

Following the presentation, Pemberton Township Council unanimously “conditionally designated” the first and later properties as a redeveloper of 1 Clubhouse Road, which had previously been declared an “area in need of redevelopment” by the township (1995) with various actions to this effect in 2011 and 2018).

Pemberton, in May 2019, took out a $420,000 bond for several properties in the city that “had been for sale signs for years and no one wanted to buy them,” including a 5,873-square-foot wood frame building at 1 Clubhouse Road The former bank was also involved. , Business Administrator Daniel Hornikel previously told this newspaper that Pemberton acquired the bank, which sits on a roughly 2-acre parcel, for $200,000 on October 18, 2019.

(Gillons told this newspaper that he was told the building had not been occupied for at least 10 years.)

An August 16 resolution conditionally named the earlier and later properties as the site’s redeveloper, stating that the township’s 2019 purchase was intended to “help restore the building for public, commercial use.” Investing”.

Regarding how the purchase process will unfold and timelines, the proposal states that the designation of first and second properties as redeveloper is “explicitly based on the negotiation and approval of the purchase, sale and redevelopment agreement between the firm and the company”. Township “within 45 days.”

It is further stipulated that “Failure to enter into the redevelopment agreement within the time limit specified herein shall result in termination of the properties before and after the Township as the redeveloper of 1 Club House Road without the need for any further action by the Township Council.” will automatically invalidate the designation.”

Tyrone Gillon later told this newspaper that the time frame for the rehabilitation “depends on permits”, but he believed it would take at least 6 months to renovate the building once construction began.

“In relation to 1 Clubhouse Road, Browns Mills, please be advised that at this point everything is proposed and will still need to go through the planning board process,” Kerry Gillen also said. “We are excited about the venture and understand and respect the Planning Board’s process and look forward to a favorable response.”

He further added, “…it is our expectation of full approval of the project.”

Resident George Petronis, who stressed during the council meeting that it “seems like a very ambitious project that’s very promising” but that “it also looks like it’s expensive,” he asked, “How about this thing?” What is the estimated cost of commissioning? Also, “What is the financial backing? And, “Do you have the wherewithal to take on this project, invest and stick with it until it is successful?”

Kerry Gillen responded that she and her husband “are not thinking about $1 million at all”, explaining that “the second floor, as well as the first floor, didn’t suffer that much damage, but mainly the third floor.” happened,” and “Because we’re keeping a lot of the[existing]material and whatever we can save — with everything, for less than half a million.

(Tyrone Gillen later told this newspaper that the cited damage was caused by a “combination of things”, including vandalism that targeted wall piping as well as roof leaks, with indications that The third floor was flooded at some point. Apparently these factors are building up.)

Kerry Gillan said, “We’ll probably start with rental units, because as long as we have customers, they’ll have to keep the building with them.” Tyrone Gillen said the pair renovated and operated condo units in western New York. And he believes the Pemberton project will be “a little more comfortable and less fast-paced”.

Kerry Gillon also pointed out that “we have the financing and we’ve been in business for 30 years.”

Ward responded to the proposal for the former Sun Bank building, saying that the property was “very, very historic for the city and I think we all know that,” he declared that he was “very pleased that someone has taken an interest in the building, finally.”

Democratic Councilman Paul Detrick said, “This property is located in the heart of Browns Mills and has been vacant for a long time.” “I am very excited to see someone come along, want to do something with him. I think everyone will support you and I wish you all the best. I hope you can make this a major venture.”

Tyrone Gillon replied, “I think you’ll be very happy with what we do with it,” as a large crowd of residents applauded (literally) the project.

Source: pinebarrenstribune.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *