The Republican and Democratic mayors of five New Jersey communities are urging for large malls and shopping centers to be part of the state's next re-opening phase.

Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage and Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera, as well as Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench, Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac asked Gov. Phil Murphy Tuesday to consider allowing malls to re-open as soon as possible under the state's Stage 2 Restart and Recovery plan.

“We commend and appreciate the leadership of the Administration during these most difficult times. We are encouraged by the ongoing steps to reopen businesses and hope that malls too can reopen on June 15,” LaBarbiera said. Paramus is home to the state's largest mall, Westfield Garden State Plaza, as well as Paramus Park and Bergen Town Center.

Moench raised the concern for uncollected revenue “associated with our profit sharing with the Bridgewater Commons, which will result in higher property taxes and more financial burden on our residents.”

In Elizabeth, The Mills at Jersey Gardens not only provides millions of dollars in revenue, according to Bollwage, but also "hundreds of jobs for our residents.”

McCormac said Woodbridge Center, one of New Jersey’s largest indoor malls, "can
provide for proper social distancing which will keep patrons and employees safe.”

The Stage 2 plan calls for re-opening outdoor restaurants, bars and nonessential stores on Monday, June 15.

Additionally, hair and nail salons and barber shops will be permitted to open a week later, June 22.

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