SOMERVILLE, NJ - As expected, the Borough Council Monday night approved a $7.25M bond ordinance to help finance construction of a three-level parking deck that will be built as part of the Edge II luxury apartment building on West Main Street.

The total cost of the deck is estimated at $14M, according to Colin Driver, the borough's director of Economic Development. The developer, Edgewood Properties, will contribute the balance, he added.

Approving the bond ordinance were Roger Vroom III, council president, and council members Jane Kobuta, Granville Brady, Tom Mitchell and Fred Weid V. Councilman RanD Pitts, a merchant in the downtown shopping district, recused himself.

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The bonding ordinance was introduced at a Borough Council meeting last month.

The borough expects to finance the bond over a 30-year period and will use parking fees and annual payments from its PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement with Edgewood Properties, according to Mayor Dennis Sullivan.

Edge II, a five-story building, will include 153 apartments, and when completed, will be the companion to Edge I, built on the other side of DAvenport Street. Both buildings front on West Main Street.

Excavation work has been underway at the site in the downtown district since last month.

Edgewood Properties, whose principal is developer Jack Morris, began the $100M redevelopment of the 14-acre site on the south side of Main Street several years ago, with the completion of the 70,000 square-foot ShopRite Supermarket, and Edge I, a five-story luxury apartment building that features Wolfgang's Steakhouse and Starbuck's on the ground floor, along with other retails space. Edge II will have a similar look, but there will be differences.

Morris is the borough's largest landlord. He also owns the Brookside Garden Apartment complex, a cluster of 642 units in two-story buildings on Mercer Street in addition to the Edge I and Edge II properties on West Main Street.

Edgewood Properties has dozens of luxury apartment complexes and shopping centers in several states; he is also co-owner of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

The three-story deck will provide parking for tenants of the five-story luxury apartment buildings, and the public. More parking will be available in a surface parking lot off Davenport Street adjacent to the Chase Bank that will include another 562 spaces.

The bonding ordinance was introduced at a Borough Council meeting last month.

Edgewood Properties will have to relocate existing underground utility lines before construction can begin on Edge II. The first phase of construction will be on the 3-story parking deck, with one level below ground, the second at ground level and the third level on the second floor of the complex.

The developer has already created a temporary parking lot at the northeast corner of the property to accommodate cars from tenants in the first building that now park in an area that will be disrupted by construction of Phase II, according to Ron Aulenbach, director of Engineering and Planning for Edgewood Properties.

The parking deck will feature 521 spaces, with 291 spaces exclusive to the tenants of both buildings; the remaining 229 spaces will be available for public parking, helping to alleviate the shortage of parking in the downtown district. The borough’s Parking Utility will manage the public parking, according to Driver.

Entry for residents will be off South Doughty Street; public access to the parking deck will be off of South Davenport Street, according to Aulenbach.

The new Phase II complex, across the street from Mannion's Pub & Restaurant, will be bordered by West Main Street, South Davenport Street, Veterans Memorial Drive West and South Doughty Street. The complex will include a second, three-story building that will feature a 40,000-square foot gym and fitness center connected by a foot bridge to the main structure.  It will be built alongside the main structure.

Phase II features 153 apartments, of which more than half – 58 percent – will be one-bedroom, according to  Aulenbach. There will be 13 three-bedroom apartments; the balance will be two-bedroom apartments.

The ground floor will feature 34,000 square feet of retail space; the upper four floors will be residential.

Phase II will include several amenities, including a 20,000 square foot all-weather food court that will front on Davenport Street; a 40,000 square foot gym and wellness center; and a pool and bar on the top floor.

The façade facing South Doughty Street will be designed to imitate early 20th-century brownstone buildings, according to Driver.

The deck will include dedicated parking for the tenants of another building planned by Morris across the street next to Mannion's.

The five-story building will have 45 apartments on the upper four floors; the ground floor will feature retail space.

Two dilapidated buildings on the north side of West Main Street next to Mannion's will be demolished before construction can begin.