Business & Finance

Fanwood Council Updated on Downtown Planning and Business Development

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Fanwood Plaza will extend from Mara's across the back of the stores on Martine Ave. and end at LaGrande Ave. Credits: John Mooney
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Liz Jeffery outlines the Fanwood Plaza walkway plan.
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Work begins at the Ponzio site on Second St. in Fanwood Credits: John Mooney
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Station Square rendering Credits: Fanwood Borough
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Ponzio site construction. Credits: John Mooney
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FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood's redevelopment consultant Liz Jeffery updated the Borough Council on Monday about new businesses and upcoming events. Among the latest developments:

Station Square: The Borough has reached a Station Square Redevelopment Agreement and PILOT payment agreements have been signed. Preliminary site work (at the former Dean Oil site at LaGrande Ave. and Second St.) is scheduled for this month. The developer is likely obtain full building permits in June. Station Square entails 28 market rate rental units and seven affordable housing rental units for a total of 35 residential units. There will be 14 two-bedroom units and 14 three-bedroom units in the market rate buildings and two one-bedroom flats and five two-bedroom units in the Affordable building. Redevelopment Plan amendments were approved June 6, 2016. Site plan approval was received Aug. 31, 2016.

Fanwood Crossing: Fanwood Vision Center has recently signed a lease in Fanwood Crossing (250 South Ave.).

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Ponzio Tract, Lot 22: Jobar Realty Company, Inc. received site plan approval on April 27 for a three-unit residential building with 2,900 square feet of commercial space on the first floor. The existing structure has been demolished.

Frank's Auto Body: Frank's Auto Body received site plan approval for improvements that include a 945-square-foot one-story addition for the creation of a new third bay for auto repair. The site work includes redesign of the parking area and the elimination of the two driveways closest to the corner of Martine and LaGrande avenues. It also includes a small landscaped area at the corner and a 5-foot sidewalk along LaGrande Avenue. Frank’s will provide an easement to the borough at the rear of the property to allow for completion and enhancement of the pedestrian connection from LaGrande Avenue to the borough parking area.

Public Plaza: The borough has begun planning for an expansion of the plaza area next to Mara’s. The project will include the expansion of the current paver area to continue behind all of the Martine Avenue stores and connect to LaGrande Avenue. The project will essentially create one long public plaza along the westerly side of the borough parking area.

The borough approved a contract with Najarian Associates to design, bid and oversee the project. Najarian has completed review of the existing easements, and area survey work has been completed. Construction plans are in progress for the project, which will begin this spring. The Martine Ave property owners have been advised of this upcoming project. Temporary construction easements will be needed for the additional areas.

"The Borough has offered to improve the small areas outside of our 20 foot easement area on the properties so that the pavers can be installed all the way to the buildings," Jeffery said. "This will be much nicer aesthetically and also improve the function and stability of the pedestrian access."

A&P: After exhausting efforts to re-lease the former A&P building to a supermarket, the property owners are now developing alternative plans for the site. Demolition has been performed. The owners have not submitted any plans to date. The Borough has been in continuous communication with them regarding the maintenance of the site and their planning process.

Sun Tavern site: The former Sun Tavern building has been leased to Lightbridge Academy, a preschool and child care facility. The Lightbridge franchise owner has recently filed construction plans for permits.

Young’s Paint: The Young's Paint building has been contracted for sale to a developer, Empire Properties, which plans to demolish the existing structure and building retail with housing above on this site. Empire Properties has not yet submitted any formal plans to the Borough.

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