Posts Tagged 'development'

Yet two more Valley St. area projects

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There are two more sites near Valley St. in South Orange that are making their way thru the ‘process.’
NAPA PROJECT (top image) – The first project up to bat at the design meeting in January was the site where NAPA Autoparts and the dilapidated building next door currently sit. The developer wanted to construct 8 units. The Design Board commented on the stucco features of the building façade and asked them to make it a darker color.
The parking lot on the south side of the building will remain.  Thankfully the developer is limiting the project to 3 storeys and they have not tried to get tax abatements either.  The Planning Board at SOPAC will take up the matter and get deeper into the project.
70 SECOND STREET PROJECT (bottom image) – Next project was from developer Henry Szwed of Eclipse Real Estate Partners.  His group were willing to listen to the Design Board and the neighborhood who were tough on the design. They asked him to reorient the building to FACE the street instead of facing inward and up the hill.   The Design Board had some images on their computers and offered those as ideas and along with the residents tried to steer the developer toward making the building fit in with the homes on that street which are small & simple Victorian style homes and not as ‘South Philly’ as above.
The developer is hoping to SELL (not rent) five apartments of 3 bedrooms each.   As the building seeks a variance to be so close to the street, the DB suggested downsizing the building to 4 apartments if it would still be economically feasible.   In the parking lot after the meeting, speaking with neighbors,  the developer picked up on the idea of creating age-friendly apartments and might incorporate that as a way to shrink the streetside unit to be farther from the street.   The DB strongly urged him to rework his design to fit into the streetscape and then return.
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Fourth & Valley

 

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I was encouraged at the most recent public SOPAC meeting which discussed plans for the proposed 106-unit development on the Southwest corner of 4th & Valley in South Orange. After many prior meetings over two years in which Village officials and neighbors worked with Meridia, the redeveloper, it appears that area residents are finally feeling that the project will improve the area and deal with potential issues regarding parking and traffic.
Architect James Haley of Haley Donovan made many changes requested by Academy Heights residents, breaking up the facades, setbacks and heights of the building to make it look more varied and organic to the neighborhood. The newest plan also shows a generous amount of public space to be enjoyed by neighbors – something residents said was missing at the Third & Valley development.  Now featured are extra wide (20′) sidewalks – generating more public space and potentially allowing for the widening of Valley Street should traffic studies call for a turning lane or other improvement.

Village President, Sheena Collum said the Village hoped to re-introduce the plan and agreements in January at a Board of Trustees meeting.  The redevelopment plan would then be referred to the Planning Board for approval, then back to the Board of Trustees for a hearing and a vote.

“Third & Valley did not have the robust public process this has had,” said Collum. “Credit the neighborhood for mobilizing.”  Neighborhood residents, David Kraiker, Andrew Kit, Linda Cappaze, Catherine Fisher and myself (and others) got together many times in preparation for our meetings with the town on this project.  Speaking at the SOPAC meeting, Andrew Kit said, “This is the ideal of what a public process should be like.”  We also were vocal about the 320 Valley project that has broken ground nearby.

As the town’s ‘vision plan’ has named the Valley St. corridor as one of the prime areas it’s looking to redevelop (in addition to South Orange Av & Irvington Av), it is very likely there will be interest in other sites nearby in the near future. If you’d like to get involved with contributing to shaping the future of the Valley St. corridor projects, please reach out to me – ken@kenkrasnerhomes.com

 

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Development at 320 Valley St., South Orange

At a Jan 4 meeting, approval from the South Orange Planning Board was given for the 320 Valley project to proceed.  It will be a 22-unit apartment building, with 2,400 sq ft of ground floor retail space. As a result of neighborhood residents voicing their concerns, the developers did agree to contribute small sums of money for:

  1. situations caused by increased traffic at the intersection of Valley St., and the future building’s driveway.
  2. tree plantings, since they will be eliminating all the trees in the area in order to build

South Orange Maplewood Homes

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There are more developments planned on Valley all the way down to Roland. The newest proposed project at 320 Valley calls for 22 units with one retail spot available.   Proposal sketch above and current photo far above. All this on a plot that currently only has ONE two-family home – the blue home pictured above.

There are many trees and shrubs (pictured) which give the area respite from the bustle of Valley St.  It would appear that the developers will build all the way down to Valley St. for the retail spot which would eliminate the greenery.  Ora Manor is immediately to the south (not pictured) and extends to the street., so current zoning shows that the proposal is ‘conforming’, but just because it’s conforming doesn’t mean 22 units are good for the residents of the area.  There are still vacancies in retail on South Orange Ave. and Valley and…

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Maplewood Post Office Update

Maplewood Perspectives_2015-05-06_reduced_Page_1The site plan of the former Post Office of Maplewood is finally approved for development by Maplewood Redevelopers, LLC.  A mixed-use, 20-unit residential and retail building at the site will be constructed.

The planning board recently voted 9-0 in favor and last month the township closed on the sale of the property.

Issues resolved included:

  1. Facade Setback – there will be a straight vertical building as pictured
  2. Garage Opening – width settled
  3. Parking Stalls on North & South Side – widths settled

There will be a transfer of the 5-year tax abatement agreement (PILOT) from the original developer, Maplewood Redevelopers, LLC, a division of JMF Properties, to two new entities: JMF Maplewood LLC and Gladstone of Maplewood LLC.

Developments along Valley St., South Orange

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There are more developments planned on Valley all the way down to Roland. The newest proposed project at 320 Valley calls for 22 units with one retail spot available.   Proposal sketch above and current photo far above. All this on a plot that currently only has ONE two-family home – the blue home pictured above.

There are many trees and shrubs (pictured) which give the area respite from the bustle of Valley St.  It would appear that the developers will build all the way down to Valley St. for the retail spot which would eliminate the greenery.  Ora Manor is immediately to the south (not pictured) and extends to the street., so current zoning shows that the proposal is ‘conforming’, but just because it’s conforming doesn’t mean 22 units are good for the residents of the area.  There are still vacancies in retail on South Orange Ave. and Valley and I believe that an organic style of retail/restaurant resurgence that residents crave will occur where rents are (were) low (Walnut St., Montclair) not where developers will be charging high rents which will most likely only attract boring chain, franchise type retail instead of more appealing, original or mom & pop style shops.

This development will probably be discussed in much more detail at the next planning board meeting in October.  Perhaps the developers can scale down the project to 12 units and leave some of the greenery there.

David Kraiker of Nextdoor Academy Heights made me aware of this particular development and is involved in many Academy Heights area issues.  If you live between Prospect and Valley and between South Orange Ave and Parker, join Academy Heights on Nextdoor.com.

Maplewood Post Office – Feb. 12 update

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Feb. 12 – The developer has agreed to make changes to the Maplewood Post Office redevelopment.  Pressure from the Maplewood Planning Board, the Maplewood Village Alliance, a former mayor Fred Profeta, and town residents resulted in Joe Forgione of JMF Properties:

1) lowering the height to 45 feet,

2) limiting the project to three floors and

3) reducing the number of residential apartments from 23 to 20.

Current Mayor Vic DeLuca reached out to Joe and framed the sentiments of the above groups for the developer who has agreed to those changes and will keep the project moving forward.

The current post office finally closed on the 12th.  Please see the link below (near) for more info on where to go for postal services.

http://www.twp.maplewood.nj.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=566

 

 

 

Jan. 21 – Changes may allow a rise in height limit of proposed development of current post office site to 53 feet.  Have you seen the balloons?

Attend the meeting on Feb. 3 at 7pm at Maplewood Town Hall.  Let’s get this right.

link to more info below

http://tapinto.net/articles/maplewood-residents-to-get-second-chance-to-comme

Construction at Third & Valley in South Orange

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It’s hard to miss the construction progressing rapidly at Third and Valley in South Orange. The pictures here are artist’ renderings of the completed project. It will consist of 215 LEED rental units with a central courtyard and a pedestrian area with retail fronts on the Valley St side.   It’s one block away from the South Orange NJ Transit station situated on 2.7 acres.  This development grew out of the town’s Vision Plan.

Combined with the new units at the Gateway and The Avenue, rental inventory in South Orange will have increased significantly after completion. In addition to meeting the rental demand, the town has indicated that it is hoping this will provide more market for retailers. In my opinion, another effect will hopefully be that more of these tenants after a year or two of renting will be looking to eventually buy.  New construction of single family homes in South Orange and Maplewood is very rare as most of the acreage is developed. Without new construction of sales units, prices will continue to increase for current single family homes.

for more info see link below

http://www.rosecompanies.com/all-projects/third-and-valley


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