Business & Finance

Fanwood Downtown Development Update for June 2017

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Station Square rendering Credits: Borough of Fanwood
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The Young's Paint building (side view) Credits: John Mooney
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Ponzio site on Second Street in Fanwood Credits: John Mooney
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Fanwood's redevelopment consultant Liz Jeffery reports to the Borough Council. Credits: John Mooney
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Current pedestrian walkway next to Mara's. The Borough of Fanwood will extend this plaza to LaGrande Ave., thanks to easements from the building owners. Credits: John Mooney
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A pedestrian walkway will replace the current back of the stores on South Martine Ave. Credits: John Mooney
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Site of Station Square development on the corner of La Grande Ave. and Second St. Pile drivers will soon begin work putting up the building frame. Credits: John Mooney
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Fanwood Eye Care has opened. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for September. Credits: John Mooney
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The old A&P has been demolished. The owners reportedly plan to build residential units with street level retail. Credits: John Mooney
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Lightbridge Academy is now targeting to open in November. Credits: John Mooney
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Lightbridge Academy will open in the old Sun Tavern building. Credits: John Mooney
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FANWOOD, NJ – Fanwood’s redevelopment consultant Liz Jeffery on Monday night updated the Borough Council on progress in the downtown area. Among the notable projects:

Station Square
The project entails 28 market rate rental units and 7 affordable housing rental units for a total of 35 residential units (14 two-bedroom units and 14 three-bedroom units, along with 2 affordable one-bedroom flats and 5 affordabel two-bedroom units).

UPDATE: Preliminary site work has begun. Pile driving will begin late June and continue for approximately four weeks.  Site improvements including clearing and grading, utilities, and site capping, and building pad construction will be done over the next 6 months. Then, vertical construction will begin. The five buildings will take approximately 16 months to complete. A construction staging and parking plan has been established; 12 spaces in the Borough parking area adjacent to the site at the Second Street entrance will be eliminated during construction. 

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Fanwood Crossing
The Phase III residential building is fully rented, including the four COAH (affordable) units. The Borough parking lot resurfacing and striping has been completed.

Ponzio Tract
Jobar Realty Company. received site plan approval on April 27 for a three-unit residential building with 2,900 sq. ft. of commercial space on the first floor.

UPDATE: Building permits have been issued, and construction has begun. Foundation work been inspected. Vertical construction will commence shortly.

Frank's Auto Body
The business received site plan approval for a 945 sq. ft. one-story addition for a new third bay for auto repair. Site work includes redesign of the parking area and the elimination of the two driveways closest to the corner of Martine and La Grande Aves. It also includes a small landscaped area at the corner and a five-foot sidewalk along La Grande Ave.

UPDATE: Site plan compliance is near completion.  Construction plans should be filed in the next few weeks.

Fanwood Crossing Retail Space
UPDATE: - In addition to Fanwood Pharmacy, Kessler Rehabilitation Center and Joli Visage, Fanwood Eye Care will open in Fanwood Crossing in July. Elite continues to seek retail tenants for their vacant South Avenue retail space.

The Fanwood Grille
The Fanwood Grille will be a throwback luncheonette with a modern twist. It will serve full breakfast (omelets, pancakes, waffles, fresh-baked muffins, etc.) and signature lunch items, including burgers, foot-long hot dogs, cheesesteak and grilled chicken sandwiches, and Maine lobster rolls. The Fanwood Grille will also make a variety of prepared dinner menu items to go and host a Friday Night Fish Fry.

UPDATE: The owners of The Fanwood Grille have completed an extensive renovation of the former Corner Store (34 S Martine Ave.) and expect to open during the week of June 19th.

The Bath Connection
UPDATE: Since the last Redevelopment update, The Bath Connection went out of business and vacated the space at 44 S. Martine Ave. The building owner is now seeking a new tenant.

Rocko’s Ice Cream
UPDATE: Rocko’s will celebrate its one-year anniversary on July 1st.

Public Plaza Expansion
Fanwood is expanding the plaza area next to Mara’s and extending a continuous walkway/plaza behind the Martine Ave. stores from South Ave. to La Grande Ave. 

UPDATE: Construction easements have been signed by property owners to make the improvements. The project was bid in April, but no qualified bidder came within budget. The project re-bid was authorized on May 22nd with new bids due June 13th. The project will begin in early- to mid-July.

China Moon Strip Mall (264-268 South Ave.)
UPDATE: The new building facade is complete. The Borough is encouraging the owners of China Moon and Ginger Sushi to set up sidewalk tables in the front of the restaurants on South Ave.

A&P Building (105 South Ave. Block 55, Lot 12)
The former A&P building owners are now developing a mixed use residential and retail space.

UPDATE: Demolition has been performed. Concept plans have been prepared for residential with retail space. The owners are in the process of refining plans and will submit them to the Borough in the coming months.

Sun Tavern Building (15 South Ave, Block 55, Lot 2)  
The former Sun Tavern site has been leased to Lightbridge Academy, a preschool and child care facility. Lightbridge received Site Plan approval on May 25, 2016.

UPDATE: The Lightbridge franchise owner has received building permits, and construction has begun. The business is expected to open in October.

Young’s Paint (1 South Ave, Block 55, Lot 1)
The building has been contracted for sale to developer Empire properties. Empire plans to demolish the existing structure and building retail with housing above on this site.  (However, the developer has not yet submitted any formal plans to the Borough.

UPDATE: The anticipated spring purchase by Empire Properties was delayed due to minor title issues.

Fanwood Website
The Borough’s website is being updated to include more business-oriented information. Improvements include information to attract businesses to Fanwood such as a visitor section, town demographics, links to the GWACC and other business friendly items. The Borough is also creating a simple, easy-to-understand “How do I” form containing information on opening a business in Fanwood. (The form will include the steps for opening a particular type of business, Borough contact information, and to applicable state processes and information.)

Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce (GWACC)
The GWACC has established a committee to work on Fanwood initiatives. The organization is sponsoring the 6th annual Ladies Night Out on June 15 and organizing the first annual Fanwood Summer FanJam featuring food trucks, live music, a car show, children’s area and more. 

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