FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr and the Fanwood Council continued the ongoing discussion of a shared Municipal Court with surrounding towns. The council reported that all four municipalities (Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Westfield, and Garwood) have agreed to and approved their individual resolutions to participate in a feasibility study to further investigate the possibility of this shared court system. The request has been sent to the state and the towns are awaiting a response.
Following this, the council announced that the SOHO at Fanwood Station is set to begin construction by next fall. This development, approved by the Fanwood Planning Board in December 2020, will feature:
- 58 total residential units (49 market-rate residential units and nine affordable living units);
- Approximately 4,200 sq. ft. of interior amenity space and 4,900 sq. ft of ground-level retail space;
- 93 parking stalls on the two lower levels of the building;
- Two reconfigured driveways on First Ave. with no entrance or exit for South Ave.
Additionally, the lot at 40 South Ave., formerly Il Sogno Restaurant, will be a project outlined as a living space has been approved by the Zoning Board and is expected to begin construction around the same time as the SOHO project. The project will contain 23 market rate rental units and 5 affordable units over retail space.
Fanwood's director of economic development Liz Jeffery reported on the streetscape improvement project on South Ave. near Fanwood Liquors and 105 South Ave. (the former A&P). Currently, the developer and the Borough are actively working with utilities to determine necessary relocations in the area of Old South Avenue. Survey work, engineering and design work by the developer are ongoing. The developer indicates that discussions and private transaction negotiations for relocation of the liquor store and associated agreements, property exchanges are ongoing. This will likely need to include temporary location for liquor store to build new structure on a portion of current site. This phase of work will take three to six months, depending on utility relocation issues and timely responses from utility companies.
Jeffery also reported that Do Ewe Knit on South Martine Ave. has closed, and a new tenant has already signed a lease to take over the space.
Additionally, the Mayor and Council approved two ordinances, one which established the powers and duties of the Police Chief and Police Director, and the other regarding emergency appropriation for severance pay of retired town employees.
The last order of business for this meeting was the announcement of a town-wide survey, organized by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association, that is intended to gain feedback and perspective on what residents would like to see in the downtown area. The interactive survey is expected to launch in the next week and will be live for a period of four weeks.
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