PLAINFIELD, NJ — Joshwa Money School, LLC of New Providence received unanimous approval on Thursday for its application before the Planning Board to convert the Coriell Mansion in Plainfield's Van Wyck Brooks Historic District from a single-family residence to a bed and breakfast.
The proposed bed and breakfast at 957-963 Central Ave. will consist of 12 smoke-free guest rooms, with one room for an on-site owner, seven bathrooms, and the construction of an off-street 13-space parking lot. Rooms will be designed for one or two occupants, and some rooms will share common bathrooms. No events will be permitted on the site.
According to owner Jonathan Steingraber, the home, built in 1880, is the largest single-family residence in Plainfield; it originally contained 26 rooms and 10 bedrooms. In testimony presented before the board, Steingraber described the condition of the home when purchased in 2013 as being severely damaged. Since then, he said, he has made significant improvements, including structural repairs, porch replacement, and extensive plumbing and electrical repairs.
Clarification was made that in order for the project to operate as a bed and breakfast, a 51 percent majority owner of the LLC must reside on the property. Prior to the final certificate of occupancy being issued, the majority owner must be identified.
Regarding anticipated room rates, Steingraber expects to use an independent booking agency to set the daily rates, with a range between $99 to $129 per night based on season and demand. He noted that average bed and breakfast stays are three days, and cannot exceed 30 days per short-term rental regulations.
Overall, residents who appeared at the hearing were in support of the project, and stated that if it was followed as presented, then the entire neighborhood could get behind the endeavor. Members of the community also suggested that bed and breakfast associations be consulted for guidelines and standards that can be incorporated into the operations.
Resident Nancy Piwowar noted that the Historical Society Of Plainfield has received positive feedback from several people, adding that the project is “a great, adaptive re-use of the property and there is a lot of interest in the property outside of the community.”
The project is expected to be completed in early 2020.
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