By: Richard L. Smith
Edison Police and city officials said they have been working rigorously in a comprehensive effort to clean up Route 27, a stretch of highway that has been identified as a blighted area in the Township.
Taking a true whole-of-government approach, Mayor Joshi said he is spearheading a campaign to revitalize the roadway and transform it into a positive facet of the community.
As one of the first major steps towards the revitalization of Route 27, Mayor Joshi said he is working cooperatively with the Edison Police Department, Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office, and other law enforcement agencies to initiate a crackdown on illegal massage parlors in the area, which are often a facade for prostitution and other illegal activities.
“Enhancing the quality of life for business owners and residents is a priority for my administration, and the illicit and illegal businesses on Route 27 have been an eyesore for our community for far too long and have no place in Edison Township,” said Mayor Joshi.
“This was our boldest covert operation to date that resulted in numerous arrests, asset seizures, and illicit business closures by the great men and women of the Edison Police Department’s Vice and Narcotic Unit.”
Officials said the enforcement action resulted in the closure of nine spas/massage parlors engaging in prostitution, 20 arrests, as well as the seizure of more than $550,000 in asset forfeiture funds, which will now be used for future police operations and the further improvement of public safety.
“I’m very proud of the Edison Police Department for taking on this initiative,” said Edison Police Chief Thomas Bryan.
“With the support of our Mayor and Township Council, we are taking comprehensive steps to clean up this roadway and begin improving the quality of life for the residents of the Edison Township community.”
In addition to a large-scale investigation and crackdown by the Edison Police Department, Township officials said they are looking to rezone the area to ensure these types of illegal businesses are not authorized to return in the future.
Mayor Joshi said he will utilize the Zoning, Fire, and Health departments to enforce laws that ultimately led to the bulldozing of a number of structures that presented significant safety hazards and were known to be used in criminal activities.
“We are using every resource within our authority to permanently change the perception of Route 27 and make it something our residents can be proud of,” said Mayor Joshi.
“Ensuring these businesses don’t reopen or return in another form is extremely important to making lasting changes and preventing these types of activities from occurring in Edison.”
The following is a complete list of the names and locations of the closed spas/brothels:
Single-family residence, 152 Edison Avenue.
Acupressure, 161 Route 27.
New Star Spa, 1813 Route 27.
Sunny Health Center, 170 Talmadge Road.
Sea Blue Spa, aka Ocean Mist Spa, 2056 B Lincoln Hwy. Route 27.
Bonhamtown Massage, 1716 Route 27, 2nd Flr.
Garden day Spa, 1659 Lincoln Hwy. Route 27.
Blue Sea Spa, aka Ocean Mist Spa, 2056 B Lincoln Hwy. Route 27. For the second time after they reopened.
Oak Tree Acupressure, 1910 Oak Tree Road.