During the 1950's and early 60's, most of the land along Chestnut Ridge Road was farmland owned by the Tice, Van Riper and DePiero families. As the families were getting on in years, there was interest in selling some of the properties. The entire area was referred to as "The Ridge"
The main obstacle to generating interest was the fact that access to the area, other then local was almost non existant. The subject was a matter of discussion from months, running on years!
One subject everyone agreed upon was the lack of access the area.
George Huff, Montvale Mayor, owned and operated an ice cream parlor on Grand Ave. adjacent to the railroad crossing in town. He was instrumental in securing an exit and entrance to the Garden State Parkway. His continued effors brought in the first new construction along the ridge, non-corporate facilities of Mack Truck and BVD.
A very loose group formed "The Blue Chip Committee" to develope conceptual plans. Peter Christenses, of Peoples Band, local branch, voiced a strong opinion that a committee should be formed to address the future. He and Bill Swales, then Mayor of Montvale, brought together the three towns- Montvale, Park Ridge and Woodcliff Lake in what is now, the Greater Montvale Business Association. All efforts were directed toward corporate headquarters facilities to the exclusion of warehouseing, commercial, etc.
During the above period, Lehn and Fink, became the first corporate entity with their headquarters at the intersection of Summit Ave. and Lake St. Word spread of the facility and any expressions of interest resulted in a referral to visit with John Walsh, Vice President, who became the "Go To" guy to acquire info about the area and his high praise - a great Salesman!
Word of mouth, publication advertising, mailing, ets resulted in what you see today!
by Bill Fitzpatrick