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EDISON, NJ-Hartz Mountain Industries has gotten the nod to redevelop the vacated Ford Motor Co. assembly plant site here as a mixed-use “lifestyle” center, and because of the complexity of the project has launched an aggressive outreach program to solicit community opinion on what the mix should include. Ford is currently in the process of demolishing the one million-sf assembly plant on the site, which turned out its last vehicle in February.

Hartz has already had a number of meetings with community groups, according to company president Emanuel Stern, and has slated an August 12 town-hall style meeting at the nearby Edison Clarion Inn. A link has also been established on the company’s website to allow visitors to make comments, ask questions and generally follow the progress of the project.

“A major, established town like Edison and a site as complex as the Ford property require that we do everything we can to understand the project through the eyes of local residents and community organizations,” Stern says. “We are committed to using a number of communication tools that allow the public to interact with us frequently.”

Out of the effort will come the specific mix of on-site uses. Those uses are expected to include entertainment and cultural facilities, a retail component, hotels and restaurants.

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