Business & Finance

Borough of Fanwood Redevelopment Update for July 2017

"Main Street-style downtowns... are much more than shopping and eating; they provide a sense of community and pride of place," says Liz Jeffery, Fanwood's redevelopment consultant. Credits: John Mooney
(l to r) Bruce Bergen, Greg Cummings, Al Mirabella, Jack Molenaar, Angel Estrada, and Colleen Mahr along with Mark Gottlieb, Matt Leshetz, Jeff Weinflash, and Benjamin Harvitt of Landmark. Credits: John Mooney
Fan Jam drew thousands of people from Fanwood, Scotch Plains, and elsewhere. Credits: Jon Joshua
The Fanwood Grille (34 South Martine Ave., Fanwood) features homemade breakfast, including omelets, pancakes, waffles, and egg sandwiches to grab-and-go. Credits: John Mooney
Breakfast crowd at the Fanwood Grille, 34 Martine Ave., Fanwood. Credits: John Mooney
Fanwood Ladies Night Out on June 15, 2017 Credits: Tom Kranz
Rocko’s Ice Cream, 38 S. Martine Ave. in downtown Fanwood, will have balloon artist and entertainer Totally Zany make balloon animals for kids on Small Business Saturday. Credits: Sean Conklin
Lightbridge Academy owners Vishal and Bhavna Ajwani of Fanwood with sons Rishaan, 1, and Krish, 5. Credits: Borough of Fanwood
Fanwood Eye Care has opened. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for September. Credits: John Mooney
Ponzio site construction. Credits: John Mooney

FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood's downtown redevelopment consultant Liz Jeffery updated the Borough Council on the latest occurrences downtown on Monday, July 10. Among the highlights:

Station Square (La Grande and Second St.): 35 units (28 market rate rentals and 7 affordable units)

  • The Station Square project has begun preliminary site work and will file for pile permits within the next two weeks. The developer was delayed in filing because they have changed the pile design from timber piles to helical piles. This is a more costly method, but will minimize the negative impacts of noise and vibration. The timeframe for helical pile installation is about half of that for timber -- only two or three weeks. There is much less noise and little vibration.

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    Utility connections and other site work have begun. The construction staging parking lot modifications are expected to be in effect very shortly. 

Fanwood Crossing (South Ave.) 

  • Fanwood Crossing I, II and III residential buildings are fully rented including the four COAH (affordable) units. The retail space is not yet fully occupied.
  • Fanwood Eye Care is expected to open in July.
  • Elite Property Management continues to seek retail tenants for their vacant South Avenue retail space.

Ponzio Tract (Second St.)

  • The building received site plan approval for a three unit residential building with 2,900 sq. ft. of commercial space on the first floor. Construction, which is expected to take 12 months, has begun. The foundation work been inspected and vertical construction will commence shortly.

Fanwood Grille (34 South Martine Ave.)

The Bath Connection Building (44 South Martine Ave.)

  • The building owner is now seeking a new tenant.

Rocko’s Ice Cream

  • Rocko's celebrated its first anniversary on July 1.

Public Plaza

  • The Borough will be expanding the plaza area next to Mara’s Cafe. The project will include the expansion of the current paver area to provide a continuous walkway/plaza area behind the Martine Ave. stores from South Ave. to La Grande Ave. Construction easements have been signed.
  • There was not a qualified bidder in April within budget, so a re-bid was authorized on May 22 with bids due June 13. All bids again came in significantly over budgeted amount. The project was bid for a third time, and new bids were received on July 3rd and negotiations are in progress.
  • The project is expected begin in late July. The contractor will seek to minimize any disruption to both the Borough parking area as well as the rear entrances of the Martine Ave stores.

A&P Building (South Ave.)

  • The Borough has been in continuous communication with the property owners regarding the planning process.
  • Demolition has been performed. Concept plans have been prepared for residential with retail space. The owners are refining plans and will be submitting to the Borough in the coming months.

Sun Tavern Building / Lightbridge Academy (South Ave.)

  • Lightbridge Academy, a preschool and child care facility, has received Site Plan approval and received building permits. Construction began in May. The preschool hopes to open by October.

South Ave. Corridor

  • Fanwood has received a grant of $820,000 to install decorative street lamps and put in sidewalks on the western section of South Ave. stretching from the train station to Terrill Road.

Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC)

  • GWACC has held three of the six speaker events planned for 2017, including two major town-wide events. Ladies Night Out, held on June 15, was a great success with over 250+ participants and excellent participation by nearly all downtown businesses and restaurants.
  • The 1st Annual Fanwood Summer Fan Jam Festival occurred on Sunday, July 9 and drew close to 5,000 attendees, who enjoyed live bands, kiddie rides, vendors, delicious food from 19 food trucks, and a vintage car show. 

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