The Motorcycle Mall at 655 Washington Ave. opened a new, larger store over the past weekend, and customers visited the expanded store to admire motorcycles and power sports equipment.
Men – and women in leather jackets were testing out the equipment and could be seen talking to each other about the 108,000 square-foot emporium.
Belleville’s politicians and Township Manager were on hand to welcome a business that the entire group of officials said could anchor that end of town and bring other businesses in tough economic times.
Township Manager Kevin Esposito, in a separate interview, talked about the economic impact of the new Motorcycle Mall.
He said that the Motorcycle Mall arrived in Belleville in 1977. When Elite Ford closed in late 2008, owner John Resciniti, Jr. began negotiating to purchase the property. Elite Ford was a car dealership that had anchored the north end of the Washington Avenue business district.
“When I learned that he was expanding and remaining here in Belleville I was extremely happy,” Esposito said. “To see any business expand during the worse economy since the Great Depression is a great achievement. But to see a business such as the Motorcycle Mall remain here in Belleville, on our main thoroughfare, is most impressive and something that I am very proud of.”
Esposito said the owner could have easily left for a more visible highway location, leaving Belleville with two large, empty sites. Now, he said he hopes this starts a positive trend.
“I encourage other business in town to follow their lead,” Esposito said. “Belleville is a great place for business.”
Part of what makes the Motorcycle Mall special in Belleville is that the family-owned business has been drawing motorcycle riders to the township and earning friends for the owners for 35 years. Resciniti greeted friends the morning of the grand opening on Saturday. The new location is at the opposite end of the town’s northern end, where the business thrived for the first 34 years.
Resciniti talked about his friendship with one of the longtime friends, retired Belleville Police Officer Robert Reed. Reed and his family were there when the ribbon was cut on Saturday morning.
“I have known Bob and his family for 30 years,” Resciniti said.
Those relationships have grown as the Motorcycle Mall remains in the family. John Resciniti Jr.’s father, John Resciniti, Sr. started things, and now his son, John Resciniti III is an integral part of the business, as Vice President and Director of Operations.