Editor's Note: Please note a spelling error in bold and a fact correction in bold at the bottom of the piece. Thank you to Councilwoman Gail Rottenstrich.
FAIR LAWN, NJ - Danbro Properties presented a 165-unit luxury apartment complex for the corner of Plaza Road and Fair Lawn Avenue, locally known as the Deals Property which sits adjacent to the train station at Radburn and across Plaza Road from the clock tower building.
On Jan. 12, attorney Stu Liebman, along with Kevin Codey from Danbro Properties, presented to the council the 3-story apartment complex with a commercial/retail use on the first floor. Parking for the residents would be in a below-ground garage, which is currently a basement on the property.
Apartment units would be studios, 575 square feet; one-bedrooms and one-bedrooms with a den, 775 square feet; and two-bedrooms, 1,150 square feet. Liebman said there are no three-bedroom apartments planned, making it less attractive for families, which is intentional to reduce stress on the school district.
The Chase Bank building would be removed with this plan, Liebman said.
The current site has 15,000 square feet of retail, while the proposed site would have 12,000 square feet of retail/commercial use, Liebman said.
There is also a courtyard planned for the middle of the building, shielded by apartments and retail in the square structure. That courtyard will be outdoors and include a gazebo and cooking areas.
When a design is finalized, Liebman said he can solicit tenants for the commercial portion of the building. Once there are approvals from appropriate boards, it would take 18 months to build.
Liebman said an affordable housing consideration is workable through the town, and would not necessarily be on site. Mayor Kurt Peluso said he would like to see special needs housing considered as a component of this project, again, not necessarily on site.
One resident asked about current businesses on the site, like the Railyard Tavern. Liebman said he does not have an answer for that at this time.
Codey said the borough's Vision Plan and the Economic Development Corporation's design guidelines were considered. "We're cognizant of everything done to date," he said.
Codey said bike sharing, electric car charging areas and other "green" considerations are included in the design plan.
Danbro Properties goal, as listed on their website, "is to transform long neglected, underutilized properties, into thriving communities where...residents and can live, work, and play...within close proximity to our communities."
The property was designated as a property "in need of redevelopment" by the Planning Board about two years ago after better than 20 years of shoddy care by the property owners. The Borough Council approved that designation in November.