Ocean State Job Lot Wins Approval For Two Signs

Artist’s rendering of the signage at Ocean State Job Lot at South Middlebush Road and Route 27.

A discount retailer planning to move into the Franklin Towne Center plaza was given Zoning Board of Adjustment permission Sept. 6 to erect two large signs on its facade.

Ocean State Job Lot is taking over about 31,000 square feet of space at the shopping plaza, located at South Middlebush Road and Route 27. The store will be located between Club Metro USA and Confectionately Yours.

Job Lot had to appear before the Zoning Board for relief from the township’s zoning regulations about the number of signs allowed – one – and the maximum size of those signs, 30 square feet. Job Lot’s signs will be 180 square feet and 70 square feet.

Peter Ricci, the project’s planner, said a 30-square-foot sign would “be miniscule,” and that the “proportions of the building, we feel, warrants us asking for more” space.

Ricci told the board that Job Lot had the opportunity to take the former Stein Mart space, but chose the other end of the plaza because “is more centrally located and would be beneficial to them.”

He said that when the former Stein Mart space is occupied, perhaps by multiple tenants, there will be signs of about the same size going up on that part of the façade as well.

Ricci said Job Lot is important to the center because “it is struggling,” and the retailer is taking more than 31,000 square feet, about 23 percent of the available space.

“This one tenant has the drawing power,” he said. “If they can bring enough people to the center, then maybe the other vacancies that are there can turn into other stores and hopefully another anchor at the other far end.”

Board member Robert Shepherd was not convinced the company needed two signs, and, he said, he did not like the signs themselves.

“I look at the size of these signs and the coloration of these signs, the white and the red, it’s just screams honky tonk to me and I find them to be obscene as comparted to what the shopping center looks like now. It’s a relatively subdued environment,” he said.

“I look at these signs and I shake my head,” he said. “I just think they’re horrible. How about we have only one ugly sign, and not two? I think where they have really gone over the top by proposing the second sign.”

“I don’t really see why we should grant them the second variance and award them two signs,” Shepherd said. “I don’t think they should have two large oversized signs.”

The rest of the board disagreed and approved the application.


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