WESTFIELD, NJ – A three story, 31-unit apartment complex was approved for construction by the Westfield Planning Board on Monday evening. The building will be erected on the corner of West Broad Street, replacing the Westfield Auto Wash and adjacent apartments facing Rahway Avenue.
Designed by Potter Architects, LLC, “The Parker” will be transit-oriented and include 18 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom unit, with ground floor parking. Five of the rentals will be designated as affordable housing units.
Initiated nearly four years ago, the project’s final major site plan approval was deemed a win-win situation by property owner Jeffrey Zoraian.
“I’m thrilled. It’s a beautiful building, and it’s something I’m really proud of,” Zoraian said. “I owned the car wash for 34 years and the buildings next door and I’ve always tried to keep it clean and be an asset to the town. I have the best customers in the world and the town’s been great. I just thought this would be a win-win.”
The variance-free project was met with zero public opposition in its final stage, as representatives from neighboring businesses and community members voiced their support.
Donald Sammet, Westfield’s town planner, fielded questions about how tenants are selected for the affordable housing units, informing the public that an administrative agent is brought in and ensures the apartments are marketing appropriately. An application process is thoroughly reviewed before tenants are selected and relies on income and other factors, according to Sammet.
The enclosed parking area on the ground floor will accommodate 32 parking spots, reflecting just one more spot than apartments. The applicant’s attorney, Rafael Betancourt, assured the board that the building and surrounding municipal lots will provide enough parking to tenants and that it’s purpose is to increase access to public transportation.
The board also approved a new appeal from John MacDougall & R. MacDougal Living Trust located at 2003 Grandview Ave, who sought a minor subdivision to include a sanitary sewer easement and the installation of two pump stations. Town Engineer Kris McAloon questioned the testimony of Tom Quinn, after revealing the plan called upon to town to pay for pump installation. The planners agreed to amend the request before final approval.
The final major site plan to renovate an existing vacant building located at 433-437 North Ave. and erect an addition to the building with parking was also approved. John Minilio, a professional engineer, provided the board with renderings of proposed retaining walls, which override town ordinances limiting the height to four feet and setbacks to be one foot for each foot of wall height.
The next planning board meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 2..