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New Jersey Stores Struggle To Stay Afloat After July Facade Collapse

RIVER EDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Store owners at a busy shopping plaza in New Jersey are still waiting to get back to normal more than two weeks after the facade on their building collapsed, shuttering several businesses.

20 River Edge business owners say they saw their livelihoods come crashing down along with Kress Plaza's facade on July 3rd.

"I've been out of business for almost a month now," JS Taekwondo owner Jisung Yun said. "It's hurting us quite a bunch."

Michael and Sara Morea share Yun's pain. They've been closed for weeks and call the experience "an emotional roller coaster." They're supposed to be celebrating one year in business, but instead they say it feels like a funeral.

"This is everything for us, our future is looking bleak," Michael says.

River Edge Jewelers is feeling the same pain at what's normally one of their busiest seasons.

"Extremely frustrating," James Boujakli said. "Me and my brother built this business in town and now it's just slowly starting to deteriorate away."

Nine store owners want to know when they can get back to business, but say they've gotten no answers from Kress Associates, the owner of their section of the strip. CBS2 reached out to the company multiple times, but didn't get a response. Additional calls and emails to town officials also went unanswered.

The other half of the mall is owned by Barry Wong, so far he's gotten four of his businesses back up and running. He's hopeful he will restore power and gas to the others by the end of the week.

Officials say inspectors were last at the building was in 2015, when the facade was installed. The Lions Club in River Edge is accepting donations for the shop owners to offer some relief while they're out of business.


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