NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — A shop that installs car radios, alarms and decals is set to open in a vacant building off Georges Road.
The owner of the property received the go-ahead from the New Brunswick Zoning Board of Adjustment last night, May 22, for the business to operate at 20 Georges Rd. Arkady Mushailov, the landlord, was required to come before the board because zoning laws don’t permit auto-accessory shops in the neighborhood.
“We believe that this is a good use of this property, and we’d like this business to get up and running,” attorney Patrick Bradshaw, who represents Mushailov, said prior to the board’s vote.
Mushailov plans to rent the building—a garage with an office and two front-yard parking spaces, between N Talmadge and Howard streets—to the owner of the auto-accessory business. The precise name of the incoming company is unclear, but the zoning board application listed it as D and J Auto Services.
Before the shop can open, Mushailov must perform several minor improvements, as stipulated by the board. He will, for example, tear down an old sign pole, improve a planter, make superficial improvements to the building and look into reconfiguring the drainage system.
His prospective tenant plans to tint windows, stripe car and install electronics.
But no auto-body or detailing work will occur on the site, Mushailov said. He said his client won’t use paint or any other chemicals.
A nearby resident, Idella Cooke, said she and her neighbors worried about activities at the site.
“We are concerned about the noise,” she said. “We are concerned about the parking. We already have a parking problem with the other businesses that are in the area.”
The applicant agreed to perform all work inside and close the garage door when testing new car alarms.
Parking shouldn’t be a problem because the shop owner and one employee will park in existing off-street spaces, Moshailov said. They’ll do estimates and upgrade cars only inside the garage, and if necessary, will only store vehicles overnight in the building, he said.
Work will take place, Moshailov said, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week and until 1 p.m. Saturday.
Moshailov bought the property in July 2016. It has remained empty.
“The building will no longer be vacant,” planner Barbara Ehlen, who represents the applicant, said. “It will be brought back into utility and benefit the [city].”
Garden State Fire and Safety, a company that recharges fire extinguishers and similar supplies, occupied the building before moving to Manalapan.
While residences surround each side of the structure, several automotive businesses, including a tire shop and an auto-body and towing business, exist nearby. The applicant’s planner said the auto-accessory shop aligns with those companies, but it is less intensive than a service center.
In addition to the use variance, the zoning board granted several bulk variances for shortcomings related to lot area, lot width, lot depth, set backs, building coverage and impervious coverage.
The applicant’s representatives argued that the structure was built in the 1950s. There’s no room to fix those pre-existing conditions, they said.
Moshailov owns several other properties in New Brunswick, including a grocery store.