Business & Finance

Planning Board Approves Stuyvesant Ave./Bonnel Court Redevelopment

Stuyvesant Avenue proposed development
Bonnel Court proposed development

UNION, NJ – The proposed project for a mixed retail-residential development in Union Center by American Landmark Developers, Inc., with buildings on Stuyvesant Avenue and Bonnel Court, were reviewed at the township’s Planning Board meeting Thursday night.

The plans call for a retail/residential building on Stuyvesant Avenue, in the area of the current Terminal Mills building, and a residential structure behind on Bonnel Court.  “This is an exciting redevelopment project for Union Center and Union as a whole,” said attorney for the developer Steven Heil. 

Architect Darrell Alvarez from Gregory Comito & Association described the look of the project, including the interior and exterior design, lighting and landscaping. The Bonnel Court building, a residential structure, will contain a first floor parking garage. “There’s not a bad side of the building,” said Alvarez, “all four sides will have the same beautiful façade.”

Sign Up for E-News

Alvarez said the project complies with all redevelopment plans. “I think it’s a great project. It can generate a lot of foot traffic, increase security in the area and revitalize the area.”

Testifying on traffic and parking, Joseph Staigar from Dynamic Traffic, a professional engineer and planner, described the studies conducted to evaluate the impact of the proposed development in those areas.

Staigar said a traffic study was performed, consisting of an evaluation of the existing conditions, a projection of anticipated traffic and a review of the site to ensure the plans work safely and effectively with good ingress and egress and sufficient parking.

Staigar said the traffic study revealed the main influx of additional traffic will be generated by residents.  He said the evaluation looked at when residential use generates traffic, typically at rush hour, between 7 and 9 a.m. and 4:30 and 6:30 p.m.

According to Staigar, the proposed development “will not have any negative impact on traffic conditions in the area”, specifically at the intersections of Morris Avenue and Johnson Place and Bonnel Court and Johnson Place.  He said the proposal will increase traffic by 50 trips in the morning, mostly residential, and 92 trips in the evening peak, a combination of retail and residential.

Staigar said the projection was based on the existing volume, plus a standard growth rate, and the anticipated additional volume. The results indicate that traffic on Bonnel Court and Johnson Place and Bonnel and Morris Avenue “do not degrade." He said waits increase somewhat but do not degrade the current level of service. “Additional trips can be assimilated into the roadway.”

Reviewing the parking impact, Staigar said the plans call for parking for 134 residential units and for 10.8k sq. ft. retail space. He said the property provides 112 parking spaces, deficient by 22. Staigar said the redevelopment plans allow for street and municipal parking for overspill. According to the parking survey, there are ample vacant spaces on Bonnel Court and in the municipal lot at the Senior Center.

“There is no overburden of parking demand to the public,” said Staigar. “Three independent analyses clearly indicate that there will be sufficient parking to accommodate the site and still have ample parking availability for the public.”

Seven residents asked questions of Staigar, including regarding concerns about senior citizen parking at the Senior Center, school children crossing Stuyvesant Avenue, and permit parking enforcement on area streets.

During public comment, one resident said, “I think in general the community all wants to see Union Center thrive, but we have a lot of concerns in terms of the school system, traffic, congestion and quality of life issues.”

Joseph Cioffi, owner of Cioffi’s Restaurant on Stuyvesant Avenue across from the proposed development, said, “I understand the residents’ concerns, but I feel that Union Center needs a development like this to redevelop this town.”

“My concern is the Senior Citizen building,” said one resident. “The Monday Club has 60-70 people, although not all of them drive there.  If the people across the street take Senior Citizen parking, it’s going to be a problem.  We should make sure people park as far from the Senior Building entrance as possible.”

Rueben Peraza, owner of the Magic Fountain Ice Cream Shop, said, “as a resident, I can relate to some of these concerns.  But, it was the Center that attracted me to this town over 20 years ago.  For my business, this development is a big welcome.”

The application for development was approved by the Planning Board, 10 to 1.



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Union Recreation Department's 2nd Annual Open House

March 15, 2018

UNION, NJ - The Union Recreation Department will be hosting their 2nd Annual Open House, a free event, on Friday, March 16, at the Hannah Caldwell School Auditorium, from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Representatives from community youth sports organizations, Union Little League, Union Soccer League, and Union Rams football will be present.  From US Sports Institute, representatives for girls field ...

'For the Sake of Our Children' Family Forum

UNION, NJ - The Township of Union Human Relations Committee will host a panel discussion, "For the Sake of Our Children" on Wednesday, March 21.

In light of the recent Parkland tragedy, the panel discussion will be led by Vito Nufrio, Union Board of Education President, Dr. Denise Reid, Cathedral Church Perth Amboy, Rick Landolfi, Deputy Chief, Union Police Department and Mayor ...

Battle Hill Small Business Fair

UNION, NJ - Battle Hill Elementary School PTA is hosting a "Shop til You Drop" Small Business Fair on Friday, March 16, from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Businesses at the event include Tastefully Simple, Scentsy, Avon, Custom Cookies, Liberty Mutual, and Paparazzi.

Battle Hill is located at 2600 Killian Place.  For information, contact


Union High School's February Male Athlete of the Month: Elijah Waldron

March 18, 2018

UNION, NJ – Union High School senior Elijah Waldron, a member of the school’s wrestling team, has been selected February’s Male Athlete of the Month.

What’s your favorite part of being a high school athlete?. 

I love the team aspect of it.  Most of my closest friends come from wrestling, and I perform better when I have to do it for a team. 

Who is ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, March 19, 6:00 PM

Vauxhall Public Library, Vauxhall

Adult Genealogy Program with Dr. Valerie Mosley

Education Health & Wellness


Tue, March 20, 11:00 AM

Vauxhall Public Library, Union

Pre-K STEM Story and Craft: "1st Day of Spring"

Arts & Entertainment


Tue, March 20, 1:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Qello Film Concert: Tribute to French ...

Arts & Entertainment


Tue, March 20, 2:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Tuesdays at 2 Movie: "The Shape of Water"

Arts & Entertainment

Union County Students to 'March for Our Lives' Saturday in Union

March 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – Students from all over Union County will be walking from Burnet Middle School to Town Hall on Saturday morning, March 24, in an anti-gun violence march.

Led by steering committee chairman Colin Sumner, the march, which has the support of Senator Joseph Cryan, Moms Demand Action, Union County Chapter, and the Union County Freeholders, is not aimed at taking away guns, but ...

Meet Scotch Plains Resident John McPartlan, Grand Marshal of the Union Co. St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sat, Mar. 10

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Meet John McPartlan, Scotch Plains resident and grand marshal of the Union County St. Patrick's Day Parade, which steps off promptly at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, 2018.

A native of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with roots in Co. Leitrim and Mayo, he attended Bishop Ford HS in Brooklyn and St. John’s University in Queens. He moved to New Jersey after ...

Mountain Biking in Watchung Reservation Revisited at Freeholders Meeting

ELIZABETH, NJ - Mountain biking in Watchung Reservation was revisited in the public comment session at the Union County Freeholders meeting on Thursday.  The board had voted not to approve building bike trails in May 2017 after a months-long debate.

Jamie Meiselman of Westfield, and co-leader of the Union County Chapter of the Jersey Off Road Bicycling Association (JORBA), raised the ...

Rummage Sale

March 11, 2018

UNION, NJ - A rummage sale is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, to benefit Union Abroad's Trip to Iceland.

The sale will be held at Union High School, 2350 N. Third Street, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Shoppers should enter through the "Rock" to Cafeteria A.


Man Dies from South Orange House Fire on Sunday

March 18, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - A man has died from a house fire on Warwick Avenue in South Orange on Sunday afternoon, stated Thomas Fennelly, Essex County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

The fire, which began about 2 p.m. was contained by about 5 p.m., and required mutual aid from fire departments in neighboring towns, according to firefighters at the scene.

JCPL: 110,000 Without Power

SUMMIT, NJ – Two big storms in a week caused about 460,000 JCP&L customers to lose power.  The company restored power to about 320,000 that lost power during the first storm with 17,000 customers still waiting to have their power restored when this most recent second storm hit Wednesday.  The combination of the two storms has left the company with about 110,000 customers ...

Scotch Plains-Fanwood Native Will Climb Mount Everest, Raise Money for Childhood Cancer Research

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- When Hailey Rachko, a 2015 graduate of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, sets her sights on something she aims high.

Now a junior at Boston University, Hailey plans to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, shortly after taking her final exams in May. She and 26 other students from across the country will spend nine days climbing up ...

Union County 4-H Club Reaches Out to Help after Hurricane Maria

March 18, 2018

Student members of the Union County 4-H Variety Club reached across local and state borders to help displaced pets earlier this year. Through their “4-H for our 4 Pawed Friends” community service project, they collected donations to help St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison after the organization sheltered more than 700 pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

A ...

Survey Examines Attitudes Towards St. Patrick’s Day, US-Ireland Relations

Lenox Consulting and Publitics partnered with EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin, to take a deeper look at the past, present and future of Ireland’s special relationship with America.  The museum, in conjunction with Steve Lenox of Lenox Consulting, a boutique public affairs firm with offices in the U.S. and Ireland and Matt Krayton of strategy and communications ...

Another Beautiful Job from Magnolia Home Remodeling Group

Magnolia Home Remodeling Group is a Home Remodeling and Home Improvement Contractor in New Jersey installing vinyl siding, roofing, windows, as well as kitchen, bathroom and basement remodeling.

According to the 2018 Cost vs Value Report, not only will homeowners enjoy the great work we do, they will recoup much of the value of the improvement at resale.  For ...

TUEF Raffle Ticket Sales

The Township of Union Education Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization whose purpose is to raise funds to sponsor innovative and educational programs in Union's public schools, is sponsoring a raffle.

The cost of a ticket is $5. The First Prize is a $500 gift card to Best Buy donated by Investors Bank. Second Prize is a "Gift Certificates Basket" containing gift ...



AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...

Hillary Clinton to Speak at Rutgers on Mar 29 - Sign Up for Tickets on Mar 12

March 8, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Hillary Rodham Clinton will discuss American democracy and its institutions, her political career and her role in the women’s political movement during a public conversation March 29 hosted by the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.

Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, U.S. senator and presidential candidate, ...

Brown Faces Life in Brendan Tevlin Murder Case

NEWARK, NJ — In the case against Ali Muhammad Brown, who was charged with the murder of 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin of Livingston, acting Essex County prosecutor, Robert Laurino announced on Tuesday that Brown pled guilty before Hon. Ronald Wigler, judge of the Superior Court. 

Brown fatally shot Tevlin at a stop light in West Orange on June 2014 after the Seton Hall ...

Commemoration of Jay Kielwasser, Animal Control Officer

March 16, 2018

UNION, NJ – A commemoration of the late Jay Kielwasser's work as Union’s Animal Control Officer took place at Wednesday evening’s Board of Health meeting.

Board President Jackie Carter said Kielwasser, who passed away in April, was the first Animal Control officer appointed by the Board of Health. 

“You really don’t know how someone ...

Letters to the Editor

Proud to support Tom Malinowski for Congress

March 9, 2018

Every single day, whether I want to be or not, I am reminded how important it is that Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in November and check Donald Trump. Fortunately, there is a terrific candidate in New Jersey's 7th Congressional District who can beat incumbent Leonard Lance. That candidate is Tom Malinowski.

I'm a lifelong New Jersey resident -- including ...