MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Developers of the new Clarus project at the former Maplewood Village post office site claim they’ve rented out half of the 20 apartments in the complex with the first move-ins expected in “early fall,” according to a lengthy press release.
The release, sent out Wednesday, August 30, from Cahn Communications of Hoboken, boasts that 10 of the one- and two-bedroom apartments had been rented and that tenants will begin moving in next month.
But that is just one more tenant than the project had claimed were signed on back in May. At that time, Joe Forgione, CEO of JMF Properties, told this reporter nine tenants had signed up.
Still, the release brags that the reaction is a success, stating, “renters have been snapping up these residences quickly to secure their place in the one-of-a-kind community, leaving only a limited number of residences remaining.”
Amenties for Clarus residents include "a WELL studio with a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga and spin, resident lounge, billiards, and a beautifully-designed luxe lobby with double-sided fireplace," according to the release, which adds "a digital, fitness-on-demand personal trainer will also be available 24 hours a day in the virtual fitness room."
Of the three retail tenants, Starbucks is the first to open, having started service several weeks ago. A BCB Bank branch is also set to open, while The Cassidy, a 120-seat restaurant, is planned for a fall launch.
The controversial project follows years of planning and discussion at the Maplewood Township Committee (TC) and Maplewod Planning Board, where some objected to the design and height for the village.
The Township, which had owned the land and leased it to the U.S. Postal Service, sold it to JMF for $1.3 million in 2015. JMF has donated at least $200,000 to the Maplewood Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Maplewood also gave Forgione a five-year tax abatement that does not require full property tax payments until the fifth year. That was approved by the TC in a split, 3-2, vote in 2015.
In addition, Maplewood covered the cost of a $93,000 sewer line extension needed for the building, which included $33,000 in lease and easements by property owners of the parking lot where the new sewer was built.
The press release describes Maplewood as having a “hip vibe, booming cultural scene, community-oriented lifestyle and proliferation of New York City transplants.”