FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood's redevelopment consultant Liz Jeffery updated Mayor Colleen Mahr and the Borough Council on Monday evening about the latest progress in the revitalization of downtown.

Station Square at Fanwood
Landmark (developer) has received the first building permit application for Building 1 (units 101-108). The framing is underway. Construction at the "Ponzio site" (35 Second Street) is ongoing.

Frank’s Auto Body
Construction began in December. The PSE&G wires over the work site have been removed so vertical work can continue.

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PSE&G pole relocation
PSE&G will be permanently relocating poles in the rear parking area. The owners of the five stores that required electric relocation to the front have completed their work and received Fanwood inspections and approvals. Verizon must now remove their service wires from the poles and then the poles will be removed.

"We are hoping this will happen by the end of March," Jeffery said.

Public Walkway/Plaza Expansion (rear Martine Ave stores)
Construction of the walkway was completed in September. However, the contractor has not proceeded with the fabrication of the receptacles, planters and benches. The Borough will be seeking remedies and/or actions under the contract with A Team Concrete to get this component of the job completed.

Young’s Paint property (1 South Ave.)
South Ave LLC purchased the former Young’s Paint property on August 4th. No development site plans have been formally submitted to the Borough. The new owner, Empire Properties and his architect James Guerra met with the Borough zoning officer and the economic development team in February. The owners reviewed concept drawings for a mixed use project of approximately 25 residential units over retail 1,200 sq. ft. of retail and parking. Site plans have not yet been submitted.

Lightbridge Academy (15 South Ave.) is still under construction. Interior work and exterior are ongoing. The facility is scheduled to open by the end of March.

A&P (105 South Ave.)
Planning is underway for residential project with street level retail component. The Borough is soliciting proposals for planning services in the Old South Ave / A&P area of Commercial Corridor West to determine how to best to revitalize the Old South Ave area. The Borough would like to have a comprehensive view including the TAP Grant streetscape improvements and the overall pedestrian connectivity in that corridor (as well as to the Plainfield/Netherwood community to the west and downtown Fanwood to the east.)

"The importance of a more focused study and public and stakeholder input will be beneficial," Jeffery said.

Monk’s Home Improvement
The home improvement company has begun its tenant fit out of the South Ave. Fanwood Crossing space. They plan a Grand Opening on Monday, March 12, at 6:00 p.m.

Sheelen’s Fish Market
Sheelens had a soft opening the week of January 25 and is operating Wednesday through Sunday hours.

Goddard School
The Goddard School will celebrate a decade of operation in Fanwood with an Open House/10th Anniversary celebration on Saturday, March 10, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Business Roundtable Meeting
Jeffery also updated the Council on the most recent local Business Roundtable meeting (held every two months and alternating evening and morning events). The most recent Business Roundtable took place on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at Mara’s Cafe. Among the upcoming 2018 events covered were Ladies Night Out (June 7) for which Mindy Scarlett has organized a committee to coordinate the event. A tent in the plaza is being planned because the former space is now leased by Monk’s.

The Borough is exploring a new initiative to enhance activity downtown. The Borough would coordinate programming for eight weeks of spring/summer: “Saturday Mornings in the Plaza.” Programs would be free and offered by local organizations or artists, etc. They may include Tai Chi, children’s story time, yoga, and bingo. The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 18, at 6:00 p.m. at the Fanwood Grille.