PLAINFIELD, NJ - Planning Board members heard details Thursday (July 20) on how a vacant warehouse on North Avenue will be replaced with a new, five-story mixed-use building with stores, a restaurant and 120 apartments around a central courtyard.

The project, dubbed “1000 North Avenue,” is just west of the north-side parking lot for the Netherwood Train Station and will face Seidler Field.  It is the first one proposed within a redevelopment area bounded by Leland Avenue, the Raritan Valley Line, Berckman Street and North Avenue.  The developer, North Avenue Urban Renewal LLC, intends to raze the warehouse on the site to make way for the new construction.

Architect Bruce Englebaugh gave a slide show for the board showing innovative features including a five-story garage with 120 spaces for residents, 18 for the restaurant and 16 for retail tenants. The garage and corridors facing the tracks will limit train noise, he said, and the train-side exterior can be enhanced by artwork on the garage and live plants, including vines, on the residential part.

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Green space will provide a view from the proposed fitness center and lounge on the east side. All the studio, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments will have windows looking out on the enclosed courtyard and the design also includes some balconies and terraces.

Among concerns of the board, member Maritza Hall questioned how deliveries would take place and Planning Director Bill Nierstedt asked for a detailed plan for trash handling and removal. The garage entrance has a 10-foot clearance, so unless arrangements were made through the management office for small vans, deliveries would be in front of the building. The garage would have a trash chute and a container to be serviced by a private hauler.

Craig Peregoy of Dynamic Engineering testified on the volume of traffic expected to result from the new development, saying it would not change much from the current low amount. His study covered North Avenue at Garfield Avenue, but board members cited Leland Avenue traffic as the real problem. Board member Siddeeq El-Amin, a retired police captain, suggested asking the Police Division for information on traffic volume and accidents at the North and Leland intersection. El-Amin said he had a business there for 13 years and saw “many accidents.”

The board still needs to hear from a planner and will continue the application at its next meeting, 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave.