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Moorestown Begins Preparation For Liquor Sales At Mall Restaurants

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Robin Rieger reports

MOORESTOWN, N.J. (CBS) – Now that voters have approved the sale of alcohol in Moorestown, NJ — but only at the mall (see related story) — local officials are looking into how to make it work. And opponents are licking their wounds.

Local realtor Maryann Fallows had hoped to keep Moorestown dry, as it has been for almost a century. But mall owners had promised that the sale of liquor licenses — for up to four restaurants at the mall — would help homeowners.

So, says Fallows, “I will be anxiously awaiting my tax reduction. I will be waiting for that to happen. I don’t know that it will, but we’ll see.”
Moorestown mayor John Button was glad that voters, not politicians, made the call.

As to how much revenue the township might garner from those licenses, Button said, “Council ultimately sets the minimum bid price for these licenses, and then they go out to bid. So I think it’s too early to give you an accurate projection.”

Mall owners projected the town’s take could hit $4 million.

Joseph Coradino, President of Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust which owns the mall, is pleased with the result. He says that within the next year, he plans to have four new restaurants. Plans also include expanding the movie theater.

Right now, the mall has 30-percent occupancy. But PREIT’s Coradino says projected revenues are expected to increase another $500,000. PREIT has also said it will pay $1 million each for the four liquor licenses.

Some Main Street restaurants though–even popular BYOBs–are concerned they won’t be able to compete with new restaurants with liquor.

Deputy Mayor Greg Gallo says they will work to promote Main Street eateries and improve parking in and around Main Street.

State alcohol officials will have to act before the township can move ahead, though, and local officials are not quite sure how long that will take.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060; Robin Rieger, CBS3

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