Park Square signs first commercial lease

The first commercial space at Park Square is spoken for. Eyes on You, an optometrist, has signed a five-year lease and will occupy about 1,800 square feet along Irving Street near Elizabeth Avenue.

The buildout is under way and occupancy could come by May, according to Matt Dobrolowski, the listing agent for Park Square.

As for the remaining 4,000-plus square feet for the ground floor at Park Square, Dobrolowski said there have been “on-again, off-again” discussions with a “small, franchise cafe” that could still happen.
For some perspective on progress at the site, at left is a photo taken late last March. The inspiration for that photo (and a continuing series of the same) came from Harvey Keitel’s character in the movie “Smoke,” who snaps a photo from the same spot outside his Brooklyn smoke shop every month for many years. Not quite the same, I’ll admit, but taking a photo every few weeks from the same corner does offer some perspective.

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A new poll is up and available. Thanks to all who offered their nominees for this month’s question. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, just select “Other” and feel free to use the comments section to specify who that might be.

New retail agent at Carriage City

It looks like Carriage City Plaza has a new leasing agent. Paramus-based The Goldstein Group moved into the ground-floor of the East Milton Avenue corner of the building several weeks ago.

No word from Silcon/Carriage City about what happened to the steakhouse — an unnamed “New Jersey institution” — that was in the works a year ago for that area. I’m sure you all have your guesses.

The dry cleaners at Carriage City has opened but it appears unlikely that Cuppy’s Coffee will move in next door (though Goldstein does label the space that way in their site plan). There remains a building permit on the front door of Cuppy’s — dated earlier this month — indicating alterations to the space for a “Mr. G’s.”

Of artists and jetpacks

A couple of non-redevelopment news items over the last few days:

* A Star-Ledger “I Am New Jersey” profile of local artist Marcel Truppa on Friday. It must have been about a year ago when I made my first visit during one of the First Thursdays events and it was evident, as one person put it in the Ledger profile, “he’s absolutely a local treasure.” If you’ve never been to his downtown studio on Irving Street, it’s worth the trip, whether it’s stories about his art or living in Rahway.

* A Wall Street Journal piece about jetpacks on Monday that included a Rahway environmental engineer who’s been building one in his basement for the last decade or so.

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I got a suggestion for a new poll question: “If you were desperate for a cheeseburger, where in Rahway would you go?” It follows our culinary theme among poll questions which seem to be the most popular. We have some ideas but to try to avoid leaving out any potential vote-getters (as we did with the pizza poll), we’ll accept some “nominees” this week to be included in the poll; email suggestions or use the comments section below.

Carriage City declared in default of agreement

The Redevelopment Agency voted unanimously last night to declare Carriage City Properties in default of its redevelopment agreement. Carriage City has 30 days to rectify the situation or the matter could head to Superior Court, Redevelopment Director and City Administrator Peter Pelissier said.

Continue reading Carriage City declared in default of agreement