New White Castle taking shape

Construction is under way on a new White Castle and it’s been taking shape along Routes 1/9 North in recent weeks.

Work started at least a month ago but since there was such a good response to the entry about the recent opening of a White Diamond in Rahway, I figured I’d post an update. It was just a matter of getting a good photo of the site without having to play Frogger in the northbound lanes. It turns out that Sunday mornings are a good time.

The Planning Board approved the 36-seat project last year but it was a little tricky to figure out where it was on a Google Map. It’s essentially between the Dunkin’ Donuts and Murphy’s Towing on the northbound side of 1/9, near East Scott Avenue and the southern end of Merck’s facility.

Renaissance at Rahway moving along

Work is progressing at Renaissance at Rahway since it broke ground just a few months ago. These photos were taken Sunday (at right, along East Grand Avenue looking west; below, along East Grand, looking east).

Home to what was the former Triangle Inn and several houses along Monroe Street and East Grand Avenue, Renaissance at Rahway plans to build a five-story, 88-unit rental complex. There will be ground floor parking. The development also will eliminate the block of Montgomery Street between Monroe and East Grand, building up to its adjacent neighbor, Riverton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

The only property owner not to sell to the developer owns the building at the tip of Monroe Street and East Grand Avenue. The two-story retail-residential structure used to house a bait and tackle shop. Signage in the windows indicates a barber shop, T-Liners, is on its way into the ground-floor commercial space.

About a year ago, the Planning Board approved changes to the project, paving the way for 44 one-bedroom and 44 two-bedroom units instead of an initial proposal of 72 for-sale condos.

Catching up on tenant turnover

There’s been a bit of turnover in some downtown spaces the last few months, particularly along East Cherry Street.

Continue reading Catching up on tenant turnover

After many months, dessert cafe opens

The windows are no longer covered and there was some activity as I drove home along Irving Street last night: InTheMix dessert cafe is open.

We first reported in May that the cafe would be coming to the corner of Irving and West Main streets and it finally opened last night. It’s been almost a year since a photo and camera shop left the 1,200-square-foot space.

If anyone pays a visit to InTheMix, let us know what you think.

Architect hired for amphitheater, Bell Building

City Council approved two contracts last week for an architectural firm to prepare a conceptual design and cost estimate for the Hamilton Street amphitheater and black box theater and dance studio planned at the Bell Building.

Farewell Mills Gatsch Architects of Princeton received both contracts, $65,000 for the amphitheater and $49,000 for the Bell Building. City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier said at last week’s council meeting that cost estimates would be necessary before moving forward with construction. The project is scheduled to break ground, and be completed, during 2010.


Thanks to everyone who came out to The Waiting Room on Friday night for our first official, informal happy hour. I wasn’t sure what kind of turnout to expect but we had upward of 20 people at one time and commandeered a couple tables. It was a nice mix of old and new faces and I had a great time. Next time we’ll plan a little better, but there definitely will be a next time, perhaps some time after the holidays. And I’m always up for suggestions on where and when to have it.

County acquires Rahway horse farm

Did you know there’s a horse farm in Rahway? Well now you do, and now you know it was purchased by Union County through the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, according to this report.

The 2.54-acre property at Bramhall Road and Jensen Avenue, near the Colonia border, was acquired for $1.7 million. Assessed at almost $560,000, the property paid about $25,000 in taxes last year.


I stumbled upon this post on Chowhound looking for some input on Tauros Tapas Grill on Monroe Street. I haven’t been there yet but I know a few readers have, in case anyone wants to share their opinion on that board.

Join us for happy hour tonight

Join your fellow blog readers and neighbors interested in redevelopment tonight for the first official Rahway Rising happy hour.

We’ll be meeting at The Waiting Room, 66 E. Cherry St., at around 6 p.m. or so, and I’m sure we’ll stick around for a few hours.

Since a giant banner, DJ and giveways aren’t in our budget (not that we have one), look for the guy whose picture is in the profile box below (that’s me!). Or just head for the most devastatingly handsome group of people you see…

(**The image at right is for comedic/artistic purposes only. We encourage drinking responsibly. Note that he’s walking, too.)

A visit to Diversified’s ‘headquarters’

The talk of foreclosure at Riverwalk and the story from North Carolina about another project abandoned by Diversified Communities got me curious.

I didn’t expect much when I paid a visit to the (former) “corporate headquarters” of Diversified this week and wasn’t disappointed. I’m not sure how long the Parsippany office of Diversified has been vacant, but Suite 110 most certainly is (photo above), despite being listed on the building directory. Actually, most of the building is empty except for what looks like one tenant (photo below).

Although Accent Title Agency hasn’t had its Web site shut down, unlike Diversified, phone numbers for both are disconnected. Accent is described as an independently operated affiliate of Diversified (.pdf, of a brochure), which was founded in 2002 by Ken Schwartz and Richard Weissman.

Almost all of the unsold 19 units at Riverwalk are those with balconies facing the Kings Inn motel and incinerator across Routes 1/9, City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Only seven of the 86 units have not paid their property taxes, he added.


Jim McKeon’s Broken Hearts Memorial, which was installed at Train Station Plaza this past summer, was picked by MSNBC in a Web-exclusive video story (2:29) this week. You can check it out here.