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JUST a quarter of a century ago, the tiny Borough of Montvale was famous for its plump strawberries and sweet corn, its grist mills and fox-hunting.
Now, about all that survives of that bucolic idyll is the DePiero family farm, two patches totaling 53 acres in a sea of 2.8 million square feet of corporate office space. Some of the land now devoted to those offices was sold by the DePimeros. Most of the produce grown on the DePiero farm is sold to people who work in the surrounding corporate offices from a 4,400-square-foot ocatagonal, two-story farm store that resembles many of the neighboring buildings.
In just 26 years since the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company established its headquarters in the borough, more than 30 other large corporations - among them Benjamin Moore & Company, the paint manufacturers; BMW of North America and I.B.M. - have followed.
But by far the most important contribution the corporations make to Montvale is taxes. They provide 47 percent of its $15.5 million in annual revenues, keeping the homeowners' tax rate down to $2.50 per $100 of assessed valuation, one of the lowest in Bergen County. They also participate in major charity events in the area, the largest of which is the $150-a-plate annual Mayor's Ball, which raised $60,000 last year for a new ambulance.
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