PLAINFIELD, NJ - The current owner of a Plainfield mansion once slated for expansion as a nursing home is now seeking its expansion to house homeless military veterans.

Formerly known as Abbott Manor in the long-running nursing home controversy, the Yates House for Military Veterans at 810 Central Avenue is on the Sept. 26 agenda of the Historic Preservation Commission and the Oct. 4 agenda of the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  The HPC meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall Library and the Oct. 4 meeting is 7 p.m. in City Hall Library, 515 Watchung Ave.

The Zoning Board referred the matter to the HPC after Yates House sought the board’s approval to build a three-story addition and convert the mansion to 25 apartments.

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Located in the Van Wyck Brooks Historic District, the building is subject to HPC review for any exterior changes. The applicant, Yates Real Estate LLC wants to restore and repair damaged areas of the structure, replace the roof, construct an addition behind the building with a handicapped-accessible ramp and a new stairwell and put a new third floor addition over the existing rear flat roof, according to a legal notice. 

The commission governs adherence to design guidelines for historic districts and issues a “certificate of appropriateness” if they are met.

In 2012, owner Andre Yates received HPC approval to repair the mansion's roof, but did not act on it and the approval has since expired. In the interim, Yates House has held numerous fundraisers and garnered media publicity for its cause.